Savage Inequalities

by Jonathan Kozol

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol is a book that focuses on the American education system. The author discusses the differences in funding in various school districts across the United States. Kozol notes that the funding, which comes from local real estate taxes, causes these disparities. Affluent neighborhoods tend to have better schools because of the taxes they pay for schools. Conversely, low-income neighborhoods are characterized by schools that require additional funding, as the properties in these areas are of less value. Nonetheless, the state is required to provide additional funding in such situations, but this hardly happens.

The author tells the story of a student from an under-funded school district who was to sit for his final exams. However, he faces challenges when studying due to the lack of textbooks. Using such stories as examples, Kozol implies that students from under-funded districts are not accepted to colleges and end up enrolling for the military. The author highlights the lack of facilities in these school districts. Many of the schools lack lab equipment and have unmaintained playgrounds while some are next to factories that pollute the air with dangerous substances. Moreover, teachers who are fired for misconduct in rich school districts are sent to poor ones.

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