PHILADELPHIA (AP) – U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says Pennsylvania has the largest spending gap between rich and poor school districts – and that must change.
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that high-poverty school districts spent 15.6 percent less than those in the group with the least poverty.
In Pennsylvania, that difference was 33 percent – much larger than the next-closest state, Vermont, which had a spending difference of 18 percent between the top and bottom groups. Three others – Illinois, Missouri and Virginia – had gaps of 17 percent
Duncan highlighted the differences on a conference call with reporters Friday urging lawmakers to see that schools in poor districts get more resources. The issue is front-and-center as Congress weighs reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
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