At last, Baltimore City Public Schools will begin funding schools by prioritizing the need of students over "performance", a standard that has always relied too heavily on standardized test scores. Under this new need-based funding scheme, education dollars will be spent where they are needed most, rather than where test scores are highest.
Spending the most where it is needed most should be obvious, but the fight for education equity and true desegregation (both racial and economic) of our schools does not end with this one decision. We don't just need to reallocate scarce dollars among our city schools; we need full funding so that all of our students can thrive.
That a school would be afforded $700 - $700 per year! - to ensure the academic success of a student living in poverty is simply unrealistic. Overcoming poverty takes more than the cost of a new TV. Students confronting poverty at home while striving for success at school need more than a few hundred dollars over the course of a year to graduate and proceed to college or trade school.
While I applaud this decision, the fight for justice in education continues. Until all children can succeed in school, regardless of ZIP code or parents' income, our work is not done.