Majority-white school districts received $23 billion more in funding than majority-nonwhite school districts in 2016 despite both groups serving nearly the same amount of students, a new report has found.
The new report released Tuesday by EdBuild, a research and advocacy group based in New Jersey that focuses on education funding, found that the gap in funding was largely due to the school-funding system’s reliance on local property taxes, The Washington Post reported.
The report found that overwhelmingly white communities tended to be wealthier and thus paid significantly more money in property taxes. That, in turn, significantly affected the majority-white school districts’ ability to raise more money.
And although nonwhite districts were reportedly found to have received slightly more money per student from the state than provided to majority-white districts, the increase was not enough to counter the gap in funding disparities in many states.
“States have largely failed to keep up with the growing wealth disparities across their communities,” the report states.
Out of the country’s 13,000 traditional public school districts examined in the report, EdBuild reportedly found roughly 7,600 districts where over 75 percent of students were white and nearly 1,200 districts where over 75 percent of students were nonwhite.
The nonwhite school districts were reportedly found to be significantly larger than the white school districts but both groups serviced roughly the same number of students.
However, nonwhite districts reportedly received $54 billion from local property taxes in 2016, which amounted to nearly $4,500 per student, and white districts took in over $77 billion, or roughly $7,000 per student.
States reportedly gave nonwhite districts nearly $7,200 per student and white districts about $6,900 per student. But overall, the gap in state and local tax dollars amounted to roughly $23 billion.
Majority-white districts were also found to have received $2,000 more in funding per student than majority-nonwhite districts.
According to the Post, the analysis found the largest gap in funding in Arizona. Majority-white districts in the state reportedly received $7,613 more in funding per student than nonwhite districts.
The study did not include federal funding, the majority of which is usually given to school districts in the poorest communities.