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The Cost Of Funding American Public Schools

1557 words - 6 pages

Public Schools can, undoubtedly, achieve great things by supplementing their budgets with money from corporate sponsorship; however, this activity is dangerous for public schools as it could put them in a position where they would be expected to support a corporation’s politics while possibly being made to forgo convictions for their own standards and ethics. Since the early 1900s, with the influx of immigrants and the increasing number of children enrolling in schools due to lack of employment opportunities, there has been great demand in education reform with regards to laws and funding (Grubb).
In 1958, education reform was propelled forward by one of the biggest contributors for America’s public education system stemming from the National Defense Education Act (NDEA). On September 2, 1958, the act was signed, initiating a program that poured billions of dollars into the U.S. education system. Funding supported programs that furthered the nation’s advancements in fields such as the sciences, mathematics, technology and weaponry. They did so in order to compete and produce innovations amidst the pressures of the Space Race as a result of Cold War rivalry. The NDEA inspired education reform and brought the issue of educating the increasing number of people that were going to college – to the forefront of the American agenda.
Since that time, Americans have struggled and campaigned to uphold support for the education of the youth of the nation. Funding often puts this support in limbo as it often teeters along with the unpredictability of the economy. Public schools are supported by the taxes of the American people. By virtue of that fact, it is no wonder that the practice of corporate sponsorship is attractive and hotly debated among issues, such as, equity, teacher’s pay, effectiveness of curriculum, health concerns regarding school lunch and retention of the tottering number of graduates.
The funding that public schools receive depends on the amount of taxes the government collects from its citizens. As such, it’s not inconceivable to assume that some schools may have more books, programs and healthier lunches than others. Some believed that the nation was founded on the idea that taxing citizens would help provide “an equal educational chance for everyone” however this ideal was flawed, if only for the fact that the practice exposed the disparity in the quality of education that was due to the disparity between the financial “have” and “have-nots” (Education: Who Pays the Bill?). In Serrano v. Priest, the California Supreme Court proclaimed that educational policy of the time (1970s) discriminated “against the poor because it makes the quality of a child’s education a function of the wealth of his parents and neighbors” (Whelan). While no one can assume that throwing more money at schools will improve the quality of the outcome, underfunding schools does provide a list of challenges, namely, not having enough text books...

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