Local News

State Looks For Ways To Bridge Achievement Gap For Low-Wealth Schools

Posted December 7, 2004 4:09 a.m. EST

— The courts and the state are trying to figure out how to help poor school districts as a result of the Leandro case.

The Leandro case is a 10-year-old battle to improve educational quality for disadvantaged students. The parties were back in court Tuesday discussing how to identify disadvantaged students.

Franklin County is getting $2 million in court-ordered state money. It is part of a 16-county test case aimed at narrowing the gap between rich and poor counties.

"Between wealthy and poor counties, there's a difference of almost $1,700 being spent per child," said John Dornan, of the Forum, a nonprofit think tank called The Forum which tracks county, school, spending every year.

Dornan said keeping quality teachers is a battle poor counties will not win without help.

"Many of our poor counties can't attract and keep really qualified teachers," he said.

Attorneys who filed the lawsuit worry the state's proposal will not flag poor students in otherwise wealthy counties. On Tuesday, the judge continued the case until January.