NEVADA – According to a survey issued Tuesday by the Education Law Center, Nevada public schools are the worst supported in the country.
The ELC’s 2022 Making the Grade report reviews and rates public school funding in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in three categories: funding level, funding distribution, and funding effort.
According to the survey, Nevada was the only state in the country to score an “F” in all categories.
The Silver State scored 47th in per-pupil funding, 44th in “funding effort” as a percentage of the state Gross Domestic Product, and lowest in “funding distribution,” which is the percentage difference in per-pupil funding in high-poverty districts vs low-poverty districts.
According to the research, Nevada funds its pupils $4,370 less per pupil than the national average of $15,446, placing it 47th in “funding level.”
The survey also discovered that, despite being near the bottom of prior studies’ rankings, Nevada’s public school funding has decreased since 2008, even after accounting for inflation.
According to the report, which largely focused on the monetary implications of the COVID-19 epidemic on U.S. public schools, most states did not have a mechanism in place to assist school districts in adequately responding to the pandemic.
“The epidemic presented a stark reality to the nation: many schools, particularly those in low-income districts, were not able to undertake the burden of continuing education in the middle of a public health crisis,” according to the paper.
The paper also warned of potential difficulties that school districts around the country may face once federal pandemic relief funds runs out, emphasizing “chronic state underfunding.”
“Inequitable state finance structures that generated the crucial resource deficiencies brought bare by the epidemic will again come into prominence. “The short-term respite given by Covid treatment does not eliminate the pre-pandemic inequities in school funding observed in this analysis,” according to the study. “Students in poverty and race-segregated districts will continue to be denied the same opportunity for academic success as their counterparts in more affluent places.”
From 2008 to 2020, the Making the Grade report drew on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of School System Finances and Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, as well as the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ State Gross Domestic Product reports.
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