Georgia Cutting Funding for Low Wealth Districts

Last Updated: July 18, 2009

This article appeared in the July 2009 Rural Policy Matters.

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Georgia’s rural schools have been hard hit by budget cuts as the governor reduced “equalization funding” in the state by 20%. These monies are meant to help mitigate some of the disparities that result in school funding for districts with low property wealth and are an especially significant part of the budget for many rural schools. However, under the current allocation system, 135 districts in the state are eligible for the funding, including Gwinnett County, which has the largest student enrollment in the state.
Governor Sonny Perdue and other supporters of the cuts justified them by citing the large amount of equalization funds designated for Gwinnett and other suburban districts.
As a result of the 20% across-the-board cut, some small rural districts have lost as much as a third of their annual operating budget.
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Read more from the July 2009 Rural Policy Matters.