Schools Funded by Property Tax is Outdated. Let’s Change That


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This is a black square with the text think about things differently. Property tax funding for public schools is a topic that deserves more discussion and thought.

Ty Benedict, Staff Writer

Every weekday, hundreds of thousands of kids go to public schools to get a basic education. For hours at a time, they learn about America’s history, various sciences, math, and English. But how is all of that funded? Money makes the world go ‘round, and public school is no different.

The secret to public school’s funding here in Maryland—and all across the country—is property. A 2016-2017 analysis done by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES for short) found that 82% of local revenue (or $269 billion) for school districts was from property taxes. For those not familiar with property taxes, they’re based on the value of a home, as well as the local tax code. So the more an area is worth, the more tax revenue the county can get.

But what happens when a county doesn’t have a lot of valuable property? Since so much revenue comes from property taxes, less local money goes toward said schools. Less money means less funding, which means more limited and worse quality education for all of those students. This issue gives poorer communities a disadvantage, making it much harder for residents of that community to succeed. And that alone does whole generations of people a disservice. 

Although Anne Arundel County may not suffer from this issue as much as other areas, a state is only as good as its weakest links. In order to thrive, we need to lift everyone up in order to create a more educated and successful county, state, and country.

So, what can be done? That is an answer better geared toward analysts and economists. Maybe there could be a tax solely dedicated to public school funding, or money could be diverted from other sources. Whatever the solution may be, it should be geared towards giving everyone a fair chance, regardless of class.