This map shows the amount of money per student available to public school districts in the Chicago region. A typical school in the city itself (shaded pink), where between four in five and all of the students might qualify for free lunch, enjoys about half the financial resources as a school in the city’s wealthy suburbs to the north (shaded dark blue). This is the kind of injustice that the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education 60 years ago was intended to eliminate. The problem persists because of differences in property values. Although schools in the city of Chicago receive substantial aid from the state, that isn’t nearly enough to make up for the fact that suburban districts can raise twice as much as in property taxes. Some might argue that $11,000 or $12,000 per pupil should be enough to provide a decent education, but increasingly, research shows that students in poor neighborhoods really do better when their schools have more money.
This chart is from the Center for American Progress. Data from the U.S. Census and the Department of Education.