In Maryland, for instance, one of several states in which the courts have looked at fiscal inequalities between school districts, an equity suit filed in 1978, although unsuccessful, led the state to reexamine the school funding system. When a task force set up by the governor offered its suggestions five years later, it argued that 100 percent equality was too expensive. The goal, it said, was 75 percent equality—meaning that the poorest districts should be granted no less than three quarters of the funds at the disposal of the average district. But, as the missing 25 percent translates into differences of input (teacher pay, provision of books, class size, etc.), we discover it is just enough to demarcate the difference between services appropriate to different social classes, and to formalize that difference in their destinies.
“The equalized 75 percent,” says an educator in one of the state’s low-income districts, “buys just enough to keep all ships afloat. The unequal 25 percent assures that they will sail in opposite directions.”
It is a matter of national pride that every child’s ship be kept afloat. Otherwise our nation would be subject to the charge that we deny poor children public school. But what is now encompassed by the one word (“school”) are two very different kinds of institutions that, in function, finance and intention, serve entirely different roles. Both are needed for our nation’s governance. But children in one set of schools are educated to be governors; children in the other set of schools are trained for being governed. The former are given the imaginative range to mobilize ideas for economic growth; the latter are provided with the discipline to do the narrow tasks the first group will prescribe.”—
jonathan kozol, savage inequalities, 1991 (via isabelthespy)
all of this but bolding mine because OH MY FUCKING GOD YES THAT.