Equalization funds shortchange poor Georgia schools

June 19, 2012
Struggling districts criticize how state funds are being allocated

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia legislators this year thought they had fixed a $436 million grant program intended to raise up the state’s poorest school districts, but it isn't working out that way. The “equalization” fund’s biggest check this fall will go to Gwinnett County—Georgia’s largest school district. At the same time, many rural districts in desperate financial condition will receive smaller grants than last year, and some will receive no help at all. The equalization fund is supposed to provide greater equity in school funding for systems with lower property tax bases. But the collapse of the real estate market in metro Atlanta has affected the distribution, and the largest grants go to districts that are neither rural nor comparatively poor.

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