Mapping the Most Disadvantaged School Districts

Sources: Education Law Center and Rutgers Graduate School of Education

“More than 1.5 million children are educated in districts with less than average resources, despite greater than average student needs, according to a new report from the Education Law Center and Rutgers. The districts, deemed “disadvantaged,” are in 20 states. The worst are in Sumter, S.C., and Shelby, Tenn., where districts face nearly three times area poverty rates but get slightly more than 80 percent of the average state and local revenue per pupil. The report notes that Chicago is “year after year” one of the most fiscally disadvantaged large urban districts in the nation.

Major Findings:

  • Over 1.5 million children are educated in 55 disadvantaged school districts across 20 states.
  • Sumter, SC and Shelby, TN face some of the nation’s most extreme disadvantage, with nearly 3 times area poverty rates and only a little more than 80 percent of the average state and local revenue per pupil.
  • Chicago is, year after year, one of the most fiscally disadvantaged large urban districts in the nation.
  • Many of the most disadvantaged districts are in states with regressive funding systems, such as Illinois and Arizona, but they also exist in states with both flat funding systems (California) and more progressive funding systems, such as Georgia, Massachusetts , Ohio and Utah.”

To read the entire report visit: http://edlawcenter.org/assets/files/pdfs/Newsblasts/Disadvantaged_Districts_Report.pdf