Materials (word document)
Students will examine funding differences across
New York State. They will see how funding is related to
the number of students in a school district and the location
of a school district.
Yesterday we saw how schools are affected when
they don’t receive equal amounts of money. (How
Does Money Affect Education?
)Today we’re going to learn how this is really happening
in New York State.
Chart of school statistics
York State map with school district locations identified
Discuss what it was like when schools didn’t receive
fair amounts of money in the previous activity (How
Does Money Affect Education?).
Ask students who represented schools given less money
what their students would not be able to have or learn
since they didn’t have enough resources.
that this is really happening—schools in New York
State do not receive equal amounts of money.
Tell students that they will be examining how some schools
receive more money than others and looking for patterns
in who receives more and less money.
all relevant terms: per-pupil spending, student enrollment,
percent receiving free lunch, etc.
students that they will be working in partners to solve
some mathematical problems using this data and that the
answers will help us understand how money is spent on
schools in New York State.
Divide students into partnerships and hand out map, statistics
chart, and worksheet with questions asking students to
analyze the data.
Students should use the data chart and the map to analyze
the spending data (see sample worksheet for possible analysis
students about 15-20 minutes to make calculations.
The teacher should circulate, monitor students, and prompt
them to see the significance of their findings (for example,
“What do you notice about the enrollment of the
schools who receive the least money?” or “What
patterns do you see?”)
the teacher sees that most groups have completed the task,
he/she should have the groups stop, bring their papers
and meet on the rug for a discussion.
groups to share their findings; create a class chart that
shows both the per-pupil spending and enrollment.
Discuss what students notice about the data (for example,
schools with the largest enrollments receive less money,
students in Port Jefferson receive about $10,000 more
than New York City and Syracuse schools).
idea that equal funding is not always the most fair; discuss
the greater needs of some districts. For example, large
city districts tend to need more money because they have
more special education and ELL students and districts
serving poorer populations need to spend more money on
supplies and materials for students.
Data from this lesson can be used in student’s letters
(see Write a Persuasive Letter)
In addition to analyzing how spending is related to district
location and population relate, students can look for
connections between spending and percent learning disabled,
classified as English Language Learners, and/or receiving
can compare New York State spending to other states nationwide.
worksheets can be used to assess their understanding of
the terms and their ability to see trends and patterns.
Teacher can judge students’ understanding of material
based on participation in group work and discussion.
Grade Levels: 3-5
began her 4th year of teaching. Jennifer currently teaches
4th Grade at P.S. 34 in the East Village. Jennifer finds
teaching in NYC to be very fulfilling, and her professional
interests are centered around the urban classroom. Specifically,
she is interested in the education of homeless children,
the implementation of high-stakes testing and standards
in high-need schools, diversity (or lack of diversity) in
the classroom, and the use of NYC cultural resources to
enhance instruction. Aside from teaching, Jennifer enjoys
reading, traveling, cycling, and running.
Elizabeth Gil is an Academic Intervention
Services teacher at Community School 211—The Bilingual
School in the Bronx. She has been teaching at CS 211 for
six and a half years. Elizabeth works with monolingual and
bilingual students across the subject areas in grades Pre-K
to 8. She is a member of Teachers of English to Speakers
of other Languages (TESOL). She participated in the Fulbright
Memorial Fund Program for educators as a member of the October
2003 cohort and also has participated in summer seminars
sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.