In pouring cash into school districts, Washington is using a tangle of well-worn federal formulas that seem to take little account of who needs the money most, reports the New York Times. Some of these formulas benefit states that spend more per pupil, while others help states with large concentrations of poor students or simply channel money based on population. As a result, some districts that are well off will find themselves swimming in cash, while some that are struggling might get too little to avoid cutbacks. Still, educators are accepting the disparities without challenge. Utah, which stands to get about $400 less per student than Wyoming, a state awash in oil and gas money, says it is grateful for the money and has no complaint. There is widespread recognition that the federal money is helping to avert what could have been an educational disaster in some places.
Democrats in Congress decided to use the formulas to save time, knowing that devising new ones tailored to current conditions could require months of negotiations…

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