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Funding of Schools

The primary sociological relevance of K-12 public school funding in the United States lies in its unequal distribution. Understanding the sources of unequal school funding is an issue of concern to the subfields of sociology of education, social stratification (inequality), and political sociology. In addition, school funding is one of the many factors that sociologists of education consider as potentially important social determinants of students' educational outcomes (i.e., achievement and attainment). Both of these matters—the unequal distribution of school funding and its consequences for students' outcomes—are complex, ever-changing, and surrounded by scholarly and political debates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school districts in the United States spent an average of $10,297 per student from 2007 to 2008. Around the average, however, ...

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