Many poor public schools do not pay teachers and educators as much as wealthier schools just a few miles away, according to a survey of 13,000 school districts the U.S. Department of Education released on Wednesday.
The department found that more than 40 percent of schools with low-income students spend less per pupil than other public schools in the same district.
"Many public schools serving low-income children aren't getting their fair share of state and local education funding," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan on a conference call with reporters, adding that the survey encompassing the 2008-09 school year "confirmed an unfortunate reality."
Data was collected as part of the 2009 economic stimulus plan, which flooded states with education money and required extensive reporting on how dollars flowed. New Jersey schools were not included in the survey because the state included federal funds in its calculations.
"The net result is this: in far too many places, Title One money is filling budget gaps rather than closing achievement gaps," Duncan said.