Sunday, May 16, 2004

Davidson County officials say education funding fails to account for immigrant student population

"For example, the 12-year-old formula considers a district's growth in student enrollment, but it allots only a dab of dollars based on the number of students in poverty. And there is only a small amount of dollars tied to the number of children in the English as a Second Language program."

"That means districts like Metro, which has high rates of poor and immigrant students, must dig in their own pockets for extra services such as remedial reading programs or ESL teachers to help those students catch up with their peers — an expense many districts don't face."

"'The people who really benefit from this are the Williamson counties,' [Metro school board member Chris] Norris said. 'They're affluent bedroom communities who don't have the high numbers of non-English-speaking or high-needs kids. They're really taking this to the bank. If you look at the money per student that Williamson County gets as opposed to Davidson County, it just makes no sense in terms of who we're targeting in our schools.'"

The Tennessean

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