Poor Georgia Schools Still Get the Short End

Monday, June 18, 2012

Legislators this year thought they had fixed a $436 million grant program intended to raise up the state’s poorest school districts, but you can’t convince folks in rural Calhoun County that they succeeded.

The “equalization” fund’s biggest check this fall will go to Gwinnett County — Georgia’s largest school district — followed by Clayton, Paulding and Henry county schools. At the same time, many rural districts in desperate financial condition will receive smaller grants than last year, and some will receive no help at all.

Here in impoverished Calhoun County, the grant of $150,000 for the coming school year represents a 50 percent cut from last year. Gwinnett will receive $43 million, an increase over last year and enough to cover Calhoun’s entire school budget for six or seven years.

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