About Public Schools

Here we cover the history of public schools, explain the various types and discuss their pros/cons. Learn more about technology on campus, health and nutrition issues, and the latest information related to a variety of student populations.

View the most popular articles in About Public Schools:

Public Schools in a Minute

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Public Schools in a Minute
Explore the diverse world of public schools in a minute! Our brief overview provides a snapshot of the educational landscape, school districts, curriculum, and more. Get a quick glance at the big picture of K-12 education.

History of Public Education

The first schools in colonial America were private. Public schools per se came much later on in the 19th century. A History of Public Schools offers a comprehensive overview of the subject.

Funding and Budgeting

U.S. public schools are funded by local property taxes supplemented by funding from state and private sources. 92% of public school funding comes from non-federal sources. An Overview of the Funding of Public Schools explains how the system works. Here are two examples of school district budgets to illustrate the disparity regarding funding between a large urban school district and a small rural school district.

Large School District (Example):

Total Annual Budget: $1.2 billion

Sources of Funding:

  • State Funding: $700 million
  • Local Property Taxes: $300 million
  • Federal Grants: $150 million
  • Other Sources (e.g., donations, grants): $50 million

Expenditure Breakdown:

  • Instructional Costs (teachers, textbooks, supplies): $600 million
  • Administrative Costs (salaries, facilities, utilities): $200 million
  • Student Support Services (counseling, special education): $150 million
  • Transportation: $50 million
  • Building Maintenance: $50 million
  • Extracurricular Activities: $30 million
  • Debt Service: $20 million
  • Reserves and Contingencies: $50 million

Compare this hypothetical budget with the actual 2023-24 budget of the Houston ISD.

Small School District (Example):

Total Annual Budget: $10 million

Sources of Funding:

  • State Funding: $5 million
  • Local Property Taxes: $3 million
  • Federal Grants: $1 million
  • Other Sources (e.g., donations, grants): $1 million

Expenditure Breakdown:

  • Instructional Costs (teachers, textbooks, supplies): $4 million
  • Administrative Costs (salaries, facilities, utilities): $1 million
  • Student Support Services (counseling, special education): $500,000
  • Transportation: $150,000
  • Building Maintenance: $200,000
  • Extracurricular Activities: $50,000
  • Debt
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Segregation in K-12 Education: Post-Revolutionary War Era (1776-1865)

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Segregation in K-12 Education: Post-Revolutionary War Era (1776-1865)
Step into the Post-Revolutionary War Era and explore the landscape of education in America during this transformative period. Journey through the tumultuous Reconstruction Era, a time of hope and immense challenges in the wake of the Civil War. Discover the resilience and determination of marginalized communities in establishing independent schools and advocating for educational equality amidst the challenges of this pivotal time in American public education.
Photo by Jas. E. Taylor., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Segregation in K-12 education has been a persistent issue throughout American history, with its roots tracing back to the Colonial Era. This essay examines the origins of segregation in K-12 education during that time and explores the differential treatment experienced by Native American, African American, and white students. By delving into the historical context and citing relevant sources, we can better understand how educational disparities based on race and ethnicity were established and perpetuated.

The Post-Revolutionary War Era marked a critical period in American history when the foundations of segregation in K-12 education were solidified. This essay delves into the historical context of this era and explores the consolidation of racial disparities in education. By examining the policies, attitudes, and events that shaped educational segregation, we can gain insights into the enduring consequences of this era.

The transition from Colonial to State Control

The Emergence of State Control over Education

With the end of the Revolutionary War, control over education shifted from colonial and religious institutions to state governments. This transition facilitated the consolidation of power in shaping educational policies.

Early State Laws and Segregated Education

Many states enacted laws during this era that explicitly segregated education based on race. For example, Massachusetts passed a law in 1789 requiring the establishment of racially separate schools, perpetuating educational disparities.

Expanding Racial Disparities in Education

Limited Educational Opportunities for African-American Students

African-American students faced severe limitations in accessing formal education. Many southern states enacted laws that explicitly prohibited the

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Segregation in K-12 Education: The Jim Crow Era

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Segregation in K-12 Education: The Jim Crow Era
This article delves into the segregated schooling system that existed during the Jim Crow Era, examining the disparities faced by African American students.

This second in my series of articles about K-12 segregation covers The Jim Crow Era from 1877 to 1954, a dark time in American history characterized by widespread racial segregation and discrimination. This essay explores the historical context of the Jim Crow Era and its impact on K-12 education. By analyzing the policies, legal decisions, and struggles faced during this era, we can gain insights into the challenges and resilience of individuals and communities in the fight for educational equality. Step back in time and delve into the dark period of American history known as the Jim Crow era, where racial segregation pervaded all aspects of society, including education. This article delves into the segregated schooling system that existed during this time, examining the disparities faced by African-American students. Explore the historical context, discriminatory policies, and the impact on educational opportunities for marginalized communities. Uncover the struggles, resilience, and pivotal legal battles that ultimately paved the way for progress in dismantling segregation. Gain insights into the enduring legacy of this era and its implications for the fight for educational equality in the present day.

Legalization of Racial Segregation

Plessy v. Ferguson and "Separate but Equal"

The Supreme Court's 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson established the "separate but equal" doctrine, endorsing racial segregation in public facilities, including schools. This ruling legitimized the practice of segregated education.

Plessy v. Ferguson was a landmark Supreme Court case decided in 1896 that solidified the "separate but equal" doctrine,

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Segregation in K-12 Education: Colonial Era

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Segregation in K-12 Education: Colonial Era
Explore the origins of educational segregation during the colonial era and the differential treatment of Native American, African American, and white students. This article delves into the historical context, policies, and societal attitudes that shaped early education in colonial America, highlighting the disparities and injustices that persisted within the schooling systems of that time.

Segregation in K-12 education has been a persistent issue throughout American history, with its roots tracing back to the Colonial Era. This essay examines the origins of segregation in K-12 education during that time and explores the differential treatment experienced by Native American, African American, and white students. By delving into the historical context and citing relevant sources, we can better understand how educational disparities based on race and ethnicity were established and perpetuated.

Origins of Segregation in K-12 Education

The establishment of formal education in the American colonies laid the foundation for the early seeds of segregation. Native American and African American students were systematically excluded from the educational opportunities provided to white students.

Latin Grammar Schools and Exclusion of Non-White Students

The Latin Grammar Schools, prevalent in the Colonial Era, primarily served white male students of privileged backgrounds. Native American and African American students were systematically excluded from these institutions due to societal norms and discriminatory practices.

Lack of Formal Education for Native American Children

Native American children faced limited access to formal education during the Colonial Era. Instead, they were often educated within their tribes or subjected to assimilationist boarding schools that aimed to eradicate their cultural identities.

Denial of Education for Enslaved African Americans

Enslaved African Americans were denied access to education through deliberate policies and slave codes. Education was seen as a threat to the institution of slavery, with laws prohibiting the education of enslaved individuals.

This video offers an overview

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Changes and Revisions to the GED Test

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Changes and Revisions to the GED Test
Explore the transformative changes and revisions that have shaped the General Educational Development (GED) test over the past decade. From transitioning to a computer-based format to aligning with college and career readiness standards, this article provides an in-depth analysis of the GED 2014 series. Discover how the GED test empowers individuals without a traditional high school diploma to unlock opportunities for further education and career success.

For individuals unable to earn a traditional high school diploma, the General Educational Development (GED) test offers a second chance to acquire a recognized credential. Over the past decade, the GED has undergone significant changes and revisions, aligning it with modern educational standards and enhancing its relevance in today's job market. Here, then, is a comprehensive overview of the transformations in the GED test, empowering individuals of all ages to make informed decisions about pursuing this alternative pathway to education and career success. I can personally attest to the importance of the GED as one of my children, who we homeschooled, passed the GED examination.

Transformations to the GED

The Transition from GED 2002 to GED 2014

In the early 2000s, the GED 2002 series was replaced by the GED 2014 series. This transition aligned the test with the evolving educational landscape, particularly the Common Core State Standards. The GED 2014 series emphasized critical thinking, problem-solving, and real-world applications, ensuring that test-takers were prepared for the challenges of higher education and the workforce.

Computer-Based Testing

One of the significant changes in the GED test was the adoption of a computer-based format—this shift from the traditional paper-and-pencil test allowed for a more interactive experience. Test-takers could navigate through questions, receive immediate feedback, and complete the test at their own pace. Additionally, computer-based testing facilitated faster delivery of test results, enabling individuals to move forward with their education and career plans more efficiently.

Subject Area Revisions

The

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About Public Schools

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