Understanding Resource: Maldistribution and Acting on Inequality of Resources

Alberto Ochoa, Art Pearl


The United States is both morally and legally obligated to equally educate all of its students. As a nation, we have high expectations of our schools and invest in them to provide our children with the means to succeed in an increasingly uncertain world of work (Aronowitz, 2008). That would of course mean providing all students with equal access and equal resources. Historically and currently this goal has not been met. To truly provide all students with equal resources would require reformative action at many levels. Leveling the playing field is more than equally distributing monetary resources (Bowles & Gintis, 1976; Jones, 2003).

In this article we examine seven maldistribution conditions that impact educational equity and resources to actualize equal educational access for Latino and low income communities. Maldistribution of resources cuts across every educational activity and human development domain (Brofenbrenner, 1979). Maldistribution is defined as faulty distribution or apportionment of resources over an area such as a school, school community or a particular group. In the case of schooling, not only is less money spent on “at risk” schools, but students in such schools get less of their teacher’s time, fewer of their teachers are able or willing to be legitimate authorities, students receive a lower level of encouragement because of deficit thinking, and more of the teachers are not prepared to work in Latino and/or low income school communities.


finance; equity; resources

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