The Funding in School Districts with Majority Minority Student Population

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Inadequate investment in the United States school system leads to unequal access to public education, especially among minority groups. As a result, the bulk of minority groups continue to struggle, while those from majority ethnicities have access to quality schooling, mostly in private schools. Several researchers have described some of the consequences of uneven wealth allocation in classrooms. They have a lack of reading books, a teacher shortage, and a poor working and learning environment. Furthermore, the researchers are interested in school mapping focused on ethnicity and minority groups. The essence of this critical review is to establish the author’s arguments on the funding of education in most of the district schools with many majority-minority students.

In the article “Funding disparities and the inequitable distribution of teachers: Evaluating sources and solutions”, Adamson & Darling-Hammond (2012) discuss the unequal distribution of teachers in public schools. According to the authors, inadequate funding is the primary cause of the existing disparities that lead to a high teacher to student ratio. The authors researched to examine how funding, teacher qualifications, working conditions, quality of teachers and their salaries relate to each other. The strength of this study is the use of adequate data from several district schools in California and New York State. From the findings, California has great disparities in its funding system. The authors believe that the reduced financing of learning activities could have resulted from Serrano-inspired legislation and Proposition 13, which was a law that supported capping of property taxes. According to Adamson & Darling-Hammond (2012), expenditure on each student in public schools in California is below the required national level. This information is accurate given that in California, majority of the public schools are poorly equipped, with teachers failing to attend to majority of the students due to their small number. Similarly, the article reports that New York has substantial inequality in the funding program for public schools.

In this research, it was important for the authors to focus on the teachers’ qualifications and salaries. From the outcome, the wages of teachers vary according to schools. For instance, the annual income could range from $13,000 to $ 90,000. Compared to other institutions, these wages are meager. These findings could have been influenced by the location of some schools in poor neighborhoods populated by people of color (Adamson & Darling-Hammond, 2012). In essence, this study has relevant information supported with adequate facts on the existing funding disparities witnessed in institutions populated by Blacks in New York and California.

In the second study, “Educational equity and adequacy for disadvantaged minority students: School and teacher resource gaps toward national mathematics proficiency standard”, Lee (2012) explores on the best alternatives for solving soaring rates of inequalities in the public learning institutions. Lee focuses primarily on existing gaps in learning resources and poor achievements in mathematics. According to this research, minority students are mainly disadvantaged by the weak funding systems, which do not adhere to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) (Lee, 2012). The author made an excellent decision to conduct a meta-analysis of primary sources from the 2000 National Assessment and Educational Progress (NAEP) report. The researcher compared scores in mathematics for grade 8 students. Thus, with this approach, it was possible to establish a relationship between funding and student’s performance. These results are accurate because, with adequate money, school administration finds it possible to hire qualified staff, pay high wages and acquire enough learning resources. Therefore, the information in this article is relevant and useful because it provides a solution towards enhancing equity in the US learning system. Performance in mathematics is just one example of learning areas, whose outcome relies on other factors that improve equity.

The third article, “The influence of race in school finance reform”, Ryan (1999) states that race has a minimal influence on school finance. This information contradicts with the majority of scholars or educationists who argue that in the US, poor racial relationships and ethnic differences are the primary factors in unequal funding of schools. According to Ryan (1999), the primary sources of battles in the learning process include the need to have increased expenditure on the resources and fair distribution. The author also claims that relationship between school funding and race arises from myths that should be addressed. For example, many people say that two-thirds of black students attend schools in the city districts, hence becoming the majority-minority such as Hispanics and African Americans. Since these students come from poor backgrounds, they have educational needs that require funding. According to the second myth, the US government allocated higher finances to exclusively white districts than the minority. As a rebuttal, Ryan (1999) states that most of the schools populated by the minority race receive funds slightly more than the required national average. This article has relevant information on why minority-majority schools are highly funded. However, the researcher fails to support these claims with the facts necessary, for instance, experimental results. Thus, it is difficult to prove the authenticity of the information.

The fourth article, “Mapping educational inequality: Concentrations of poverty among poor and minority students in public schools” by Saporito & Sohoni (2007) examines the relationship between high rates of poverty in public schools and economic segregation and the students’ performance. To find a correct correlation, the author conducted a study. The findings show that public schools in most of the districts have a large percentage of minority, most who are poor. The effect is economic segregation, with most of the public schools receiving inadequate money that cannot cater to the needs of all students. The authors of this article provide a correct link between the poor minority students in public schools and underfunding. Because non-minority students attend most of the highly funded institutions, the authors support their facts that economic segregation hurts the academic performance of students from minority populations.

Finally, Fitzgerald (2015), in the article “Philosophy Rather than Finance: Redirecting the Discourse Concerning Inequitable School Funding in Illinois”, provides a less rooted method of examining and solving the financial disparities witnessed in most of the minority-majority schools. According to Fitzgerald (2015), a philosophical approach involving a judicial process should be applied to ensure all students get equal justice. The author’s arguments show that the current differences in funding of public institutions and unfair distribution of resources are an abuse of human rights to equal education. The author uses adequate information from literature to support this argument. Hence, by following the recommendations in this article, minority students in the US should involve the judiciary to ensure the government provides their rights to education.

In conclusion, inequity in funding and distribution of learning resources affects district schools with majority minority students. All the reviewed articles have relevant information that shows how the institutions are underfunded compared to those populated by the majority races. The authors conducted a meta-analysis of the literature. The critical review also indicates that the minority populations, particularly Blacks and Hispanics are poor, hence need adequate funding. As a solution, one of the articles proposes that the affected groups should follow a judicial process to claim their rights to education. In essence, the authors effectively support their arguments by employing statistical means, hence making the articles highly relevant.


Adamson, F., & Darling-Hammond, L. (2012). Funding disparities and the inequitable distribution of teachers: Evaluating sources and solutions. Education Policy Analysis Archives/Archivos Analíticos de Políticas Educativas, 20.

Fitzgerald, R. (2015). Philosophy Rather than Finance: Redirecting the Discourse Concerning Inequitable School Funding in Illinois. Philosophical Studies in Education, 46, 52-61.

Lee, J. (2012). Educational equity and adequacy for disadvantaged minority students: School and teacher resource gaps toward national mathematics proficiency standard. The Journal of Educational Research, 105(1), 64-75.

Ryan, J. E. (1999). The influence of race in school finance reform. Michigan Law Review, 98(2), 432-481.

Saporito, S., & Sohoni, D. (2007). Mapping educational inequality: Concentrations of poverty among poor and minority students in public schools. Social Forces, 85(3), 1227-1253.

January 18, 2023

Education Life

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