Duncan: Pa. must change education spending gap

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 16, 2015 1:01 AM

(Philadelphia) -- U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says Pennsylvania has the largest spending gap between rich and poor school districts and that must change.

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that high-poverty school districts spent 15.6 percent less than those in the group with the least poverty.

In Pennsylvania, that difference was 33 percent -- much larger than the next-closest state, Vermont, which had a spending difference of 18 percent between the top and bottom groups.

Three others -- Illinois, Missouri and Virginia -- had gaps of 17 percent.

Duncan is urging lawmakers to see that schools in poor districts get more resources.

The issue is front-and-center as Congress weighs reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

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