For some reason Maura Pennington at the PA Independent thinks comparing per-student funding in Philadelphia to average income in Vietnam is of greater interest to readers than a comparison to other Pennsylvania school districts. She never gives us that context, but her colleague Jim Panyard elsewhere in the Kochtopus state media network had these numbers a few weeks ago:
This is why Maura didn’t include the comparison to other school districts – it’s not impressive. Philly’s per-student funding is somewhere in the middle of the pack.
Maura acknowledges that we’re now counting debt service in the per-student funding number in the Corbett era, so by that metric, Philly’s per-student funding is really down to about $11,000 per student.
The issue continues to be that Philadelphia’s school district serves a higher number of underprivileged students who come to school hungry and bring to school other difficult problems from their homes and neighborhoods. These students obviously need more resources. Equal per-pupil funding would be unjust, but the fact that these kids get less money than their rich white counterparts is criminal.