MONEY PROBLEMS: “Equity doesn’t mean the same for everyone; it means that everyone gets what they need,” says one Florida elementary school principal in Scholastic’s latest Pre-K–12 research project. But there’s a problem: the flow of money doesn’t seem to support the idea of equity. In the survey of 4,721 educators, Scholastic found that 61 percent of teachers at low-poverty schools receive discretionary funds from their school, district, or parent-teacher organizations, compared to 46 percent at high-poverty schools. And what’s more, teachers and principals across the board reported having spent their own personal money on items like books, technology and even students’ clothes and food in order to meet their academic and personal needs.
What complicates the situation is how much students are dealing with outside of the classroom. In the survey, 91 percent of principals reported having students in need of mental health services, and 90 percent saying they have students living in poverty. But educators aren’t giving up—97 percent agreed that “equity in education for all children should be a national priority.”