In CT, our goal as educators should still be #equityineducation. Despite the wealth of our state and the resources made available to many districts - not to mention some of the highest national standards for educator certification and praxis subject assessments - Connecticut still has the 18th least equitable school districts in the U.S
This should not necessarily come as a surprise given the massive income inequality within the state according to data drawn from Wallet Hub's breakdown of the Most & Least Equitable School Districts in Connecticut
In Litchfield for instance, residents earn around $85k on average, with per-pupil spending at nearly $25k.
Meanwhile, in Bridgeport, where the average income is closer to $50k, the state spends only $17k per student.
If you've done the mental math, you'll note that that is actually 34 cents of funding per dollar of average income versus Litchfield’s 29 cents on the dollar. So what's the problem? It makes sense that less affluence equals more funding, right?
It does, but following that same logic, shouldn't per-pupil spending increase at the same rate that household income decreases?
Bridgeport and Litchfield are separated by $35k in income. For every dollar behind Litchfield students, Bridgeport receives just 58 cents.
It would be equitable for the difference in average income to be made up to Bridgeport students down the road. This would come out to something like $39500 earmarked for each student in BPS. Currently, the highest per-pupil spending in the state is $42k in Sharon.
So what can we do? Our civic duty - continue petitioning, writing your senator, voting in the interest of schools - none of which will render any immediate solutions.
In the meantime, Shoreline helps schools stretch their operating budgets by providing qualified teachers in support of student needs that emerge throughout the year that school resources may not account for.
In this way, we ensure ALL students are getting an opportunity to benefit from a top-tier education.