: it's not all
about the money.
There are other factors too, but admittedly they tend to skew things the same way the money does, so it's easy to just point to the money.
For example: while education doesn't guarantee wealth, there's definitely a correlation. Good education and good jobs do tend to go together. So those good (expensive) neighborhoods that bring in more property taxes? They also tend to have more educated people in them. And educated people value education, and have books in their homes. So their kids think school is important, and quite likely learnt to read before they even started school. All of our kids certainly did.
So that school in the good area not only gets more money in the US, but it gets "better kids". And that's not some kind of value judgement about my kids being superior to your kids (if you wondered: they are, btw), that's just a completely objective measure of how "good" the kids are for school. They need less coaching because they came in better prepared, their parents probably make sure they make their home work, the teacher has fewer problems etc etc.
And once a school district gets known as a good school district, that just snowballs. What kind of people are willing to spend more money on a house "just" because it's in a better school district? Right. The kind that values education. Again. Feeding the cycle further.
And the teachers? Not only do they have an easier time (because they have kids who knew how to read even before starting school), but I guarantee you that most teachers would prefer teaching in a school like that, as opposed to one in a bad district. Sure, they'll have to work with those parents that have so high expectations, but there's less drama. Fewer pregnant teenagers, less violence over drugs. Didn't you know? Rich educated people get prescriptions
So where do you think you'll find the better teachers? Where do you think you'll find better teacher retention and thus teaching stability? Which school do you think could even afford to pay less
, yet get good teachers, because the teachers would prefer it?
So it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once you have an uneven school system, it gets out of whack. It's not even about the money, although the money will be part of it. And no, private schools are in no way any different, nor do vouchers help at all. The issues stay exactly the same. The schools that get a good name have an easier time getting money, vouchers, teachers, "good" students, etc etc etc.
The only way to fix it is to not have bad schools. At some point, things are "good enough" that other things take precedence. But to get there you need to fund that, and you need to really respect education. That's Finland.