Education Is A Necessity: Poor Students Deserve Equal Opportunity For Higher Education

1266 words - 5 pages

Many young people dream about having successful careers as lawyers, doctors, or CEO's of major corporations, but to achieve these goals they must be adequately educated. However, not all people are given the same opportunities as others. Why? Education is effected by the funding of schools. According to Caroline M. Hoxby, Assistant Professor of Economics at Harvard, local tax revenues are an "effective and efficient means of providing education...and gives incentives to both residents and school staff" (2). However, in Savage Inequalities, Jonathan Kozol argues that funding schools solely with property tax is not effective because the property revenues of poor families do not compare to those of the richer families; thus less money goes toward the poor children's education. Therefore, I agree with Kozol in that local property taxes are an unfair way to fund schools because students of poor districts are not given adequate education nor do the parents have sufficient amounts of money to finance their schools.

The bottom line is schools need a good amount of money to keep themselves running properly, however providing those funds only through property tax will not ensure that. Kozol states that typical wealthy suburban homes are "worth more than $400,000" (54), while in a poor urban district homes costs as low as $4000 (19). Since property tax is based on the value of homes, it is clear that the wealthy homeowners are able to contribute a larger tax base in proportion to its student population. However, for urban communities which mostly consist of poor families, the meager values of their home do not provide enough money to adequately pay for their children's education. To accumulate more money for schools, poor communities "tax themselves at higher rates than do the very affluent communities" (55). Unfortunately, this increase of taxation still does not make a noticeable difference because of their low revenues. Furthermore, wealthy families continue to benefit from their local property tax since it gets counted as a tax deduction, so every homeowner will receive a portion of their income back from the federal government (55). Since the wealthy suburban homeowners have more expensive homes, they will get a more substantial deduction. Therefore, with the extra money to spend, these parents donate money towards their children's education. In the poor urban districts the value of their home aren`t as high, so the amount of tax deduction they receive is obviously going to be a smaller amount. Thus property tax alone is an inefficient way to fund schools for poor families because the value of their homes do not compare to those of the rich neighborhoods. This system of funding schools is unfair for the poor districts because they are unable to allot enough money to finance their schools properly.

Property tax revenues used to fund schools in poor districts such as East St. Louis do not provide the students with an...

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