School budgets are in big trouble, especially in high-poverty areas. Here's why - and what could help


PORTLAND, ME - MARCH 6: Joseph Miller, a custodian at Ocean Avenue Elementary School, uses a disinfectant-soaked towel to clean a chair and other "touch areas" throughout a classroom. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

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When the last recession hit school budgets about a decade ago, it didn’t hit them equally.

Affluent school districts saw their state funding drop by more than $500 per student after the downturn. High-poverty districts in the same state lost much more: over $1,500 per student in state funds.

Now, the coronavirus has brought much of the American economy to a halt. Another recession is possible, even likely. And the poorest school districts, which are particularly reliant on state funds, may once again bear the brunt of the budget crunch.


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