It is reported that in over half of the entire states in the United States, the low-income or poorest districts don’t get enough funding to attend to their students’ educational needs.
Some data released recently by The Education Trust shows the impact of this on the nation’s educational system. The poorest schools are found to receive as much as $1, 000 less per student annually in local and state funding than states with no poverty challenges.
States like South Dakota with only about $9,000 spending per student annually will no doubt be affected in the funding process especially schools located in the rural settings.
Gaps created in the area of funding between low poverty districts and high poverty districts are seen to be worse for it looking at students from low-income families.
It is generally believed they will need extra support to make a good impact academically.
The Link Between School Funding And Performance
Different views exist on whether or not school funding has any link with students’ performance in the school.
In earlier researches carried out in the 80s up to the 1990s, findings showed that funding levels of schools have no serious link to students’ achievements.
However, this assertion has been faulted by recent claims. A detailed review of more than 60 statistical analyses looked closely at school’s inputs including funding level, student poverty rates, school outcomes such as graduation rates and test scores.
It goes to show that students’ performance and school funding are strongly linked as also expressed by the Guardian.
Reasons Why Schools Excel In Spite Of The Poor-funding?
In spite of these odds in school funding, some schools like those in South Dakota perform respectably fine to rank higher than the national average mark in graduation rate.
Basically, educational strategies and approaches to the job are the general reasons why schools excel despite low-funding from the authorities.
Some educational sites show how low-income students succeed with help from the school.
Smaller Class Size
Research into reducing class size has shown some significant positives in performance, especially among low-income students.
A low student to teacher ratio as well as individualized teaching is deemed more effective and the reason most private schools use this as a marketing force to attract parents to their schools.
Way back in 1985, The Student Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) was a typical project on this strategy that yielded positive results with more than 6,000 students used for the experiment.
The majority of students benefitted and performed better from the class reduction approach, especially for students from low-income families.
Though the reduction of class size is seen to be expensive in the long run, some schools have either unconsciously have this strategy implemented due to low enrollment.
For instance, many public schools in South Dakota at the elementary and high school levels often have a lower student to teacher ratio lower than the national average.
Schools will excel in spite of poor funding when the teacher quality is there to make the difference. Teacher recruitment should not be limited majorly to certification. Interests, health status, commitment.
Some teachers make the difference in their students’ performance because they went far above and beyond what is expected because of the love for the job and the students under their care.
Education, aptitude, and experience are combined with other virtues by these teachers to improve students’ performance.
If a good quality teacher is onboard, it surely counts to make a noticeable impact. This is the case with some schools with low funding such as those in South Dakota state where the spending annually per student is among the lowest in the US.
In 1999, an analysis of state data and NAEP scores from the US Department of Education on “schools and staffing survey” showed that teacher quality indicators such as certification, specialization in a subject area, are vital and impacts on students’ outcome and performance.
It should be stated that not all studies had this significant relationship but many showed strong potential in the direction of student performance.
There is a strong link between giving a child the required education from the early years of his life and how he performs in the future. He should do better.
This takes care of needing to make corrections in later years of the child’s life as well. Students who are exposed to and master the basic skills in the educational life will go along the path steadily than those who are introduced to the same in much later years of their life.
Many states including South Dakota implement the kindergarten levels to catch them young during their early childhood days. It is no news that this level of education in South Dakota is equally not funded appropriately by the government but other factors may come in as a rescue to keep the school running and pupils performing beyond expectation.
In several surveys, preschool programs have been effective to help students’ performance in later years.
The state NAEP scores as given by the RAND study revealed some positive relationship between preschool participation by students and test scores.
Credit Recovery Approach
South Dakota’s best schools are now adopting some aggressive measures to credit recovery to help their students through graduation.
High school students are the more provided opportunities which include using technology and online platforms to help students make up for deficiency in credits to see them go through graduation within the four years stipulated for high schools.
It is no longer only the customary summer classes and before or after schools that make this possible.
These other options are in place to improve students’ performance in the best possible way they are more comfortable with.
Obviously, the above strategies are some of the approaches that help a school to excel in spite of the odds of low funding.
It should be concluded that merely increasing funding to schools may not be enough to bring about the positive changes in performance of a school. States should take the step to consciously enhance outcomes by targeting educational strategies that have worked in recent times on students.