Rich Schools vs. Poor Schools

A Broken Funding System

Barbourville Funding Gap. Photo from the Lexington Herald Leader

Most American public schools are funded through property taxes. The problem is in poorer areas, property values are so low that schools have less tax money available for their students – even with really high tax rates. that is why Barbourville students are only getting 40% of the funding of Kentucky’s richest school districts, and several grand less than the state average.


More Broken Promises from Frankfort

This problem WAS supposed to be corrected years ago. The State Supreme Court ruled massive funding disparities a violation of the Kentucky State Constitution’s education clause in 1989, and in 1990 the state legislature passed the Kentucky Education Reform Act (or KERA Act). According to the KERA Act, the state government was required to give poor districts like Barbourville Independent extra funding for their public schools.

Unfortunately, recent governors and the state legislature have been – illegally! – cutting back the amount of aid given to Barbourville and other poor districts. The end result? Barbourville Independent continues to be underfunded, and the Kentucky public school funding disparity continues to grow.

And as if all this weren’t enough it somehow gets worse… 

Bad Policy! >