NEWS BRIEF: Poor Georgia schools and students deserve higher funding, say Chatham County educators, parents, and students

Many suggest moving to an “opportunity weight” system, that would give poor areas more funding.

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Photo credit: CL FILE
Georgia Students/Schools need adequate funding

“The circumstances a child is born into should not dictate his or her chances of success.” These were the pleas of Denise Grabowski, a member of the Savannah/Chatham Board of Education, to a state Senate study committee last Friday. The study is being conducted to find new ways to update Georgia’s Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula, which dictates how areas receive funding for education. The current QBE formula was established in the 80s.

Ideally, low-income areas would receive higher funding, but sadly, this isn’t the case. Half of all school funding comes from local governments, the other half coming from the state. The local government money are largely from property taxes, meaning schools in high-income areas receive more resources, while low-income areas receive far less funding. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.’

Several speakers offered up an “opportunity weight” system as an alternative. Such a structure would allot more money to students living in poverty. Currently, 44 states use the opportunity weight system.

Grabowski added, “We absolutely know the importance of early childhood education to academic achievement and long-term success.” gpb.org