This report identifies the 11 Long Island districts with the most student poverty and compares them with the 11 districts with middle student poverty, and the 11 districts with the least student poverty. In addition to poverty, this report looks at the demographic composition of these districts, and percentage of English language learners. Historically on Long Island, as elsewhere, there has been a large funding gap between school districts with high poverty and those with little poverty. The funding gap, as examined by The Education Trust and others, documents the difference in educational opportunity between school districts. In order to make this calculation it is necessary to both examine expenditures per pupil and student need (as measured by the proportion of student poverty). Policy makers and researchers across the spectrum agree that it generally costs more to provide equivalent educational opportunity to students from poor households as those from middle class or wealthier households. This report factors student poverty into the measurement of the funding gap.
The report examines the effectiveness since 2007 of different state school aid categories at closing the funding gap--specifically looking at foundation aid, high tax aid and all state operating aid as a whole. In addition, this report looks at student outcomes according to 8th grade English Language Arts and Math exams, graduation rates, Regents diploma rates, and college enrollment rates in order to evaluate whether there has been progress at closing the achievement gaps since funding reforms were instituted.