Skip to main content

Inequity in schools an ongoing problem

12/12/2013 06:30PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print


A recently released report titled “The Bottom Line is Children: Public Education in Chester County” contends that Chester County's public schools are underfunded by $42 million annually.

The study found that only one-third of Chester County students have the option to attend full-day kindergarten. And a growing number of the county's 69,567 students now live in low-income households. The number of students who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program in the county has increased by 33 percent in the last four years.

This is the story in Chester County, which is one of the most affluent areas in the state. What's the story in more rural areas, or areas where the poverty rate is even higher?

Residents in this area are blessed with some of the best schools in southeastern Pennsylvania. A few school districts rank among the best in the state. But even here in Chester County, with the comparative affluence, the instructional spending gap between the highest-spending and lowest-spending school districts stands at about $98,000 per classroom.

One recommendation that the Public Citizens for Children and Youth made is to increase resources to close academic achievement gaps. That's a good recommendation, but it's also one that's hard to implement. It's a flawed system when a comparatively wealthy school district can spend $98,000 more per classroom than a poor school district—especially when you consider that it's the poor school district that needs the additional resources.

The state's reliance on local property taxes to primarily fund schools creates a system where more affluent communities will be able to spend millions, in some cases tens of millions, more on schools each year.

Can a school district be smart and creative with funding and make the most out of the resources that they do have? Yes. One example can be found in Avon Grove, where the school district attempted to identify those students who were most at risk of falling behind and offering full-day kindergarten to help those students stay on target.

Expecting the governor and the state general assembly to find a long-term solution to the heavy reliance on local property taxes is futile. This has long been a problem and it's never been addressed.

You might not agree that the schools in Chester County are underfunded, but it's hard to argue in favor of the current system of funding schools when the inequity between school districts persists.



editorial taxes public citizens for children and youth school funds


You might also like

Carrying out Eli’s wishes

Editorial for the week of August 20, 2014.

Radio action

Editorial for the week of August 13th, 2014.

High taxes are killing Oxford growth

Uncle Irv for the week of July 9, 2014.

  • Annual Fall Family Fun Day and Craft Fair

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    Nottingham Presbyterian Church hosts a family fun day and craft fair annually on the third Saturd...


  • Nottingham Presbyterian Church

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    A fun day for the entire family. Come out and enjoy great food, unique crafts, free entertainmen...


  • Zoo Yoga: OM’ing Otters

    09/20/2014
    09:15am — 10:15am

    (Ages 4-7 years old) Weekly Saturdays or Sundays, September-November (Classes held in the Educati...


  • International Red Panda Day

    09/20/2014
    10:00am — 01:00pm

    Become a Red Panda Ranger! A Red Panda Ranger is a special title given to a child who has learned...


  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...


  • Saturday Zoo Tales

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 11:00am

    Join us for a fun, animal or nature themed story and a visit from one of our fun program animals!...


  • Open Hive Day

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 12:00pm

    Join TLC apiarist, Dan Borkoski, for an inside look at the busy buzzy world of honeybees. Partici...


  • Harvest Day Cookout

    09/20/2014
    11:30am — 06:30pm

    The fall is approaching and this means one thing - The 45th Annual Yardley Harvest Day is right a...


  • Goo Fest

    09/20/2014
    02:00pm — 05:00pm

    As part of North Star Orchard's Adventure in Flavor tasting series, you are invited to Goo Fest! ...


  • Brews for Books

    09/20/2014
    06:00pm — 09:00pm

    Sample fine craft beers with friends and support public libraries at Brews for Books, a craft bee...


  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/20/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...


  • Taste Kennett Food Tours

    09/21/2014
    01:00pm — 04:00pm

    Taste Kennett Food Tours, creators of memorable, unique and fun food experiences, offer three-hou...


  • Writing Baseball

    09/21/2014
    02:00pm

    What happens when baseball leaves the field and swirls around in the imaginations of great writer...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Annual Fall Family Fun Day and Craft Fair

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    Nottingham Presbyterian Church hosts a family fun day and craft fair annually on the third Saturd...


  • Nottingham Presbyterian Church

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    A fun day for the entire family. Come out and enjoy great food, unique crafts, free entertainmen...


  • Zoo Yoga: OM’ing Otters

    09/20/2014
    09:15am — 10:15am

    (Ages 4-7 years old) Weekly Saturdays or Sundays, September-November (Classes held in the Educati...


  • International Red Panda Day

    09/20/2014
    10:00am — 01:00pm

    Become a Red Panda Ranger! A Red Panda Ranger is a special title given to a child who has learned...


  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...


  • Saturday Zoo Tales

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 11:00am

    Join us for a fun, animal or nature themed story and a visit from one of our fun program animals!...


  • Open Hive Day

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 12:00pm

    Join TLC apiarist, Dan Borkoski, for an inside look at the busy buzzy world of honeybees. Partici...


  • Harvest Day Cookout

    09/20/2014
    11:30am — 06:30pm

    The fall is approaching and this means one thing - The 45th Annual Yardley Harvest Day is right a...


Chester County High School Sports