Fordham’s Metro D.C. School Spending Explorer looks at per-student spending at Washington D.C. public schools.
It also shows the relative wealth of each school’s attendance zone, writes Mike Petrilli, who lists the 25 richest elementary schools in the area.
Several years ago, Janie Scull and I identified several thousand of what we called “private public schools”—public schools that serve virtually no poor students. This is another way at looking at that phenomenon—public schools that are “public” only for families who can buy extremely expensive real estate.
Take Carderock Springs Elementary in Bethesda (Maryland). The average income of households in its attendance zone is almost $250,000 per year. Is this school really more “public” than an inner-city Catholic school serving poor minority children? The public spends $12,000 per child on the former and $0 per child on the latter. Tell me again why that’s fair?
In wealthy suburbs, affluent parents donate thousands of dollars to their children’s public schools, reports the New York Times.
In Coronado, Calif., a wealthy enclave off the coast of San Diego, for example, local education groups, which support about 3,200 students in five schools, raised more than $1,500 per student in 2010. These private funds helped pay for arts and music classes at all grade levels, sports medicine courses at the high school and a digital media academy at the middle school, where students are learning animation and designing buildings with 3-D printers.
By contrast, the combined fund-raising of groups affiliated with schools in the San Diego Unified School District — where the median household income is about two-thirds that of Coronado — amounted to $19.57 per student.
School-supporting nonprofits have increased, according to a new study. Most states cap or redirect local property tax revenues to equalize public funding between affluent and poor districts, say researchers. Instead of raising property taxes, well-to-do parents donate money to their children’s schools.