Paper Sample on School Finance Issues

Date:  2021-03-26 18:25:54
7 pages  (1876 words)
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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

More than $500 billion is spent annually in running the major schools in the United State of America. Polls from different research agencies in the United States put education to be one of the leading expenditures for any government or state when it comes to budgeting (Owings, Kaplan, 2012). This regards the large number of requirements that are needed for smooth running of the schools. Most of the items required in schools such as laboratory apparatus and other properties that are annually renovated or put in place usually run into the tunes of million dollars. These funds if not handled properly are more likely to end up in grave misappropriation. Various report on the usage of this money have always shown that it is usually very difficult to tell where the money usually goes. Moreover, its even harder to tell how this money contributes to the attainment of success by the students. It is very necessary according to these reports to have the finance system for schools fixed so that the basic goals for educational and learning activities are achieved by the institutions. In this case, the goals of the ambitions students and other stakeholders in the education sector are realizable with ease.

The globally hard economy has been of a significant reason for the difficulties that are experienced in most districts of the United States. The major funding for these schools usually comes from the tax collected by the state and local government. It is therefore highly expected that when the economy is hard on the local and state governments, the schools also find a problem in their funding. A number of problems that occur in the financial sector have in most cases ended up affecting the schools as well. In some cases when investment deals fail to materialize, schools have ended up losing large sums of money and eventually becoming bankrupt. The financial hiccups usually translate to reduction in the necessary supplies to the maintenance projects and in some cases cancelling of the projects previously scheduled (Odden, 1992).

The data on the average spending per child in every district is usually recorded in the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). It usually gives detailed information on the amount of money spent annually on every students education. The funding has however been seen to increase over the years despite the myriad challenges. The graph of the amounts of funding over time is as shown below.

The majority of the funds that are allocated to schools are usually used for advertisement. This is done to ensure that the institutions are known and that the general public is well informed of the services that are offered by the institution. Instruction and instruction-related services are also found to contribute a large percentage of the funding.

Instructional expenditures consist of all the costs that involve teachers instructing the students. This percentage is accounted for by the school supplies for instance text books, salary to teachers and curriculum development programs. Close to half of the funds spent on education are attributed to student and staff support. These include the medical costs for the students and teachers, guidance and therapy fees, entertainment and events fees, library renovation and development fees, media centers and training fees. The administration costs consist of expenditures incurred by both the school administration and districts. The expenditures on the board of education are also capture under the administration cost. They are disseminated to the principals office for use in catering for expenses such as graduation expenses, planning for researches and purchasing the necessary materials.

The financial adequacy and its aspects

The various states have always attempted to equalize their funding among the various schools. There is as well a specified amount of money is usually allocated to the disadvantaged individuals in the schools. A large number of disparities have been witnessed in the US education system. The origins of the disparities are traced to be constitutional, historical or social. The education is usually funded by the states. The wealth from properties usually is the major source of funding for the education in the states. The states that have larger property tax usually get more revenue than those with limited property tax. As a result, the education in the states with lager property tax more funds than their counterparts in low property tax states. The districts with lower property tax bases find it very hard to generate revenue for use in the schools within the states. It is therefore more costly to educate students in states with lower property tax according to this model. The federal government has in some cases bailed out the states with low property value and low wealth distributions.

The disparities have however remained to be significantly different despite these disparities. The consistent disparities within different states have been the cause of activism and efforts for reforms for several decades with various stakeholders seeking better ways of handling or correcting the disparities. Initially, these reforms were driven by the belief that the resources and the spending were inequitably distributed among the various states in the US. The scenario witnessed some states spending hugely on educational matters while the other made very dismal spending. The legislators from the small-property states made several advances in the 90s to appeal and to the fight for equal distribution of resources by the federal government. These were in most cases unrelated to the reforms basic reforms of the education system (Augenblick, AVA Education Policy/Planning Services, 1984)

Recent studies have tried to determine the association between the reforms in finance and the improvement in schools general performance. The increased dissatisfaction in the recent times can be attributed to this factor. The association between the performances has been a reason for the continued drift between the various states when it comes to allocation agreements. The disparities have aroused skepticism and suspicion concerning the ways in which the educational funds are usually distributed in the public schools. The recent times have seen increase in awareness on the social and economic platforms. The society has come to terms with the challenges facing individuals whose educational and economic know-how are relatively low. This has been a motivating factor for the increase in funding especially to schools in the recent times. It has recently been hard telling how the allocated funds contribute towards the attainment of success by the students. It is very necessary according to these reports to have the finance system for schools fixed so that the basic goals for educational and learning activities are achieved by the institutions. In this case, the goals of the ambitions students and other stakeholders in the education sector are realizable with ease

The recent times have seen the emergence of new legal paradigm in approaching educational adequacy. This paradigm has put more emphasis on the adequacy of the resources allocated rather than the uniformity of the distribution of these resources to schools in the US. The application of this new paradigm has been on the increase in the recent times and is currently serving as a foundation for majority of the modern legislative deliberations and current court cases (Russo, 2013). The major contributing factor towards the inception of this paradigm is the inequities that have always arisen in handling the educational finances within the various states of the United States. In response to this, the National Research Council of the US established the Committee of Education Finance that was aimed at investigating the crucial measures that should be put in place to ensure that students achieve the high standards of learning (National Institute of Education (U.S.), United States., National Center for Education Statistics, 1974). The committee was also tasked with the duty of investigating the most effective ways of raising funds to be used in the running of the schools.

Major implications of finance adequacy on various stakeholders

The funding disparities together with the adequacy in the levels of funding are the primary concerns of the school finances in most cases. These disparities need to be looked into with respect to the important aspects of the educational system. It might for instance look really desirable to have the funds more equal fund distribution across all the states of the US. However, it is not certain whether or not the allocated funds shall be used productively and to the optimal satisfaction of the relevant stakeholders. The stakeholders need an affirmed assurance that there will be no cases of fund embezzlements in the future. Clear records should be put in place to outline all the possible ways in which the allocated funds are to be spent. There should also be professional auditing to ensure that the records on the ground match with those that were written on the spending. This level of carefulness is inspired by the fact that there have been increased cases of fund misappropriation in the past.

The adequacy model is meant to ensure that both students from advantaged or disadvantaged backgrounds are exposed to equal opportunities of education. It is also supposed to be noted that the students the students shall be fully geared towards working harder to achieve their goals that are either academic, social, co-curriculum and economic. The stakeholders at various capacities have equalized the efforts to spend and facilitate creation of more educational opportunities for disadvantaged students (United States, 1972) The districts with lower property tax bases find it very hard to generate revenue for use in the schools within the states. It is therefore more costly to educate students in states with lower property tax according to this model. The federal government has in some cases bailed out the states with low property value and low wealth distributions. The disparities have however remained to be significantly different despite these disparities. The consistent disparities within different states have been the cause of activism and efforts for reforms for several decades with various stakeholders seeking better ways of handling or correcting the disparities. Initially, these reforms were driven by the belief that the resources and the spending were inequitably distributed among the various states in the US (Johns et al. 1984).

It has been considerably hard to clearly determine the optimum a mount that any state requires in order to achieve all its educational goals and obligations. As a result, most of the times, approximation has been used in determining the possible allocation that shall be sufficient for each state. The approximation has always turned out to be error prone with some states having lower amounts to spend on education while some having excess amounts to spend.

The major factor that has caused an increased rate of dissatisfaction in the recent times is the disparities that have been witnessed. The correlation between the performances has been a reason for the continued division between the various states when it comes to allocation agreements. The disparities have an eyebrow concerning the ways in which the educational funds are usually distributed in the public schools. The recent times have seen increase in awareness on the social and economic platforms (Fritts, Illinois Association of School Boards, 2012) The society is beginning to accept the challenges facing individuals whose educational and economic know-how are relatively low. This has been a motivating factor for the increase in funding especially to schools in the recent times

Major aspects of th...

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