Topic: How should U.S. schools be funded?

For this Community Activity, you will be doing a brief reflection on the readings as well as completing a Funding Data Collection and Analysis

Brief Reflection on Readings

Currently, most schools in the nation are funded through local property taxes. Homeowners, commercial property owners, and rental property owners contribute the majority of school funding by paying tax based on the value of their property. Some question this, arguing that it privileges schools in wealthier areas where property values are higher. On the other hand, many taxpayers argue that their taxes shouldn’t pay for the education of other people’s children. Either way, funding by property tax means that school funding varies from county to county.

What do you think? Should schools be funded by property taxes at the local level, should the state government intervene to level funding across the state, or should another approach be initiated and implemented? Utilizing two of the controversy articles, discuss the implications of (in)equitable funding for schools and students. You should summarize, paraphrase, and/or directly quote from each of the readings in a synthesized manner.

Funding Data Collection and Analysis.

You will be completing your own analysis for Part II of this Community Activity. Compare the funding levels, real estate values, demographics, and school grades for two counties in Florida. I suggest choosing two counties you know well, maybe Alachua and your home county. You could also choose two separate counties you have lived in during your childhood. It’s up to you! I also recommend using this table to keep track of your data as it can get confusing quickly.

Note: If you come from another state, or are familiar with an area in that state, you are free to choose an out-of-state county, but you’ll have to do some searching online to complete part 4. Choosing two counties in Florida would be easiest given that I have already provided you with the links. 

Collect your data:

  1. Once you’ve chosen your two counties, go to NPR’s interactive funding graphic (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and copy down the per pupil funding for your chosen counties.
  2. Then go to Zillow’s Florida county values  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external to see the median home price (the halfway point of home sales in the county). Type in your counties of interest and note what you find about each county.
  3. Go to StatsAmerica (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and look at the data for your two counties. Thinking back to our focus on sociology, look at the data for poverty rate, percent with high school diploma or greater, as well as the racial percentages on the “demographics” page (which is listed on the left). Feel free to explore/note any other areas of interest to you on the county you are exploring.
    1. Click the “Jobs and Wages (BLS)” link, scroll down and look at the Annual Industry Distribution of Jobs and Avg. Wage in 2018 (NAICS). Look closely at:
      1. “Pct. Dist.” (what percentage of people work in each field) and note the top three types of employment and their respective percentages.
      1.  Annual average wage for each of those top three types of employment.
  4. Then head over to the Florida county grade map (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and note the respective “grades” these counties received.
    1. On the left side of the page, there is a list, click on “Interactive Reporting”
    1. Under Florida Report Cards, click “Florida Report Cards EduData Portal”
    1. Select “District Report Cards”
    1. Enter your District in the District Report Card Selector drop-down menu.
    1. Note the District Grade, Graduation Rate, the distribution of school grades across the district (“Count of Schools by School Grade”) and any other areas that are of interest to you.

Interpret your data:

Then, interpret your findings by providing a brief synopsis of what you’ve found and what it means. Address each of the following questions in your video response:

  1. How large is the per-pupil funding difference between counties?
  2. What other significant differences, if any, did you find in median home price, demographics (poverty, education status, race, etc.), grade/score the school received or any other category that you explored?
  3. When examining the school grades and per-pupil funding together, how do they support and/or refute some of the arguments in our readings that funding schools through property taxes is regressive and unfair to poorer communities?
  4. What correlations (associations) can you identify between education level, race, income, and industry for these counties?
  5. Finally, what is your big take away from this data-analysis exercise?

Type of service-Academic paper writing
Type of assignment-Essay
Subject-Not defined
Pages / words-1 / 275
Number of sources-2
Academic level-Freshman (College 1st year)
Paper format-APA
Line spacing-Double
Language style-US English

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