Injustices On American Children: Lack Of Equality And Funds Allocated By The Local, State, And Federal Governments

1617 words - 7 pages

In the continuously changing society of today's world, the existence of discrimination based on age, gender, race, or prosperity is a constant. Over the years the government and its courts have tried to develop laws and amendments to end these forms of discrimination. One issue of public opinion is that of the discrimination that occurs within the public school systems involving the cyclical patterns of discrimination based on wealth and race. Jonathan Kozol's book, Savage Inequalities, describes the struggle of children in unprivileged inner city schools and their battle with the public school system. The less wealthy, inner city students do not receive adequate schooling compares to that ...view middle of the document...

With the minute amount of money allocated to the inner city schools, it is difficult to ration it out between the teacher's salaries, school building improvements, textbooks, and other adequate learning resources. Kozol later quotes a newspaper that describes the school's funding policy as a scheme, "that has created an educational caste system" (Kozol 199). Again, due to the money being given to the areas of higher property value, the poor communities are being left to fend for themselves with the few provisions that they are given. Even if the wealthier areas have more money than they need, the money stays there. This is a form of discrimination based on wealth in which the innocent children of America are being punished for no fault of their own. Kozol shows the continuing pattern of this discrimination based on the funding systems and condemns the wealthier class by stating, "The reliance of our public schools on property taxes and the localization of the uses of those taxes have combined to make the public school into an educator for the educated rich and a keeper for the uneducated poor" (Kozol 207). A wealthier family is going to choose to give their children a better-than-average education, whereas a poor family has little choice in the decision of the school their child attends or a lack of education to try to change the direction of their child's education. They take what is given to them, left over from the more affluent families and the cycle continues from generation to generation. Kozol has clearly expressed his opinion of the lack of equality in the governmental funding system in the public schools.Due to the fact that the money granted to the individual schools is based on property taxes, discrimination within the school system is inevitable. The lower class families that are predominantly black or Hispanic, living in near poverty are given an amount of money that is substantially less than the amount of money being allocated to the wealthier families that sometimes live less than a mile away. Therefore the underdeveloped schools consist of mainly black, Hispanic, and low income white children. Kozol's experiences in various schools defend this fact. Kozol observes that in the Mary McLeod Bethune School in North Lawndale, Chicago, a fifth grade class consists of thirty students, all of who are black (Kozol 46). At Du Sable High School in Chicago, the student population is one hundred percent black (Kozol 68). Public School 261 in New York, which conducts its classes in an old roller skating rink, is ninety percent black (Kozol 87). This is then compared to a suburban school in Chicago, New Trier High, where only 1.2 percent of the population is non-white (Kozol 66). Segregation is inevitable as long as the governments continue to use property value as their basis for funding. And until state or local governments attempt to integrate the lower and higher-class students, and try to improve the condition of the inner city schools,...

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