Regardless of the method used to analyze equity, all show that in the past several years, the equity gap has been widening.That's the conclusion reported by the Office of Education Accountability last year, based on funding data through 2006. OEA supported that claim using several different approaches to equity, but for a basic sense of what's happened, here's a simple way to see the problem:
The graph shows two groups of districts each serving one-fifth of Kentucky students: the group with the lowest assessed property value per pupil and the group with the highest such value.
1997 was Kentucky's best year for funding equity, with the least wealthy districts having nearly 88 percent of the state and local funding available in the most wealthy schools. In the years since, we've only gotten above 84 percent once, and 2006 was our weakest equity year of the ten shown here.
Source: the 2007 School Finance Report, released in February 2008, is available for download here.