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The Next Educational Equity Battleground: Little-Noticed ESSA Provision to Allow Parents to See Whether Districts Fund Schools Fairly

In the suburbs west of Philadelphia, the drive between Penn Wood and Lower Merion high schools is just five miles, yet the two campuses are worlds apart.

In Lower Merion, home to the the city’s wealthy and political elite, affluence is reflected in everything from its state-of-the-art campus building to the taxpayer-funded laptops in students’ backpacks. At Penn Wood, however, 75 percent of students are economically disadvantaged and, as a graduate said in a recent documentary, “At any given moment, 1 student out of every 8 can use a computer.”