WalletHub: West Central IL Has Some of Least Equitable Schools

By Benjamin Cox on August 5, 2020 at 4:05pm

A recent study of Illinois’ 849 elementary and secondary school districts shows that West Central Illinois schools may be some of the least equitable in the state.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has raised alarms about equitable education between rich and poor students around the country. WalletHub recently completed a study using statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics and a formula to demonstrate the most and least equitable school districts.

The list of most and least equitable districts was based on 2 metrics: average household income and expenditures per student in public elementary and secondary schools.

Each school district was given a base score of 50 points. Points were added or deducted based upon a percentage above or below state averages in each metric. The final score for each district was calculated by taking the absolute difference between the 2 scores for each category, with the lowest value representing the most equitable.

Only 1 school district from West Central Illinois appeared in the Top 10 – New Berlin, with a score of .18. Three districts ranked near the bottom 20% of the 849 districts listed – Pikeland School District, Beardstown, and North Greene. All had scores above 60 points. Jacksonville School District 117 was ranked at 541 on the list with a score of 43.25.

Illinois overall has the 4th least equitable schools in the entire nation. Several educational studies have shown that by having equitable funding in a district, it can help prevent low income students from having low graduation rates, low participation in higher education, and small future income.

To view the study go here and to view the methodology, visit here.