While New Jersey has made strides to narrow the gap in education spending between poor and rich school districts, "economically disadvantaged students are much less likely to have robust extracurricular programs," the Star-Ledger reports. A 58 percent gap in extracurricular spending means that disadvantaged students will be handicapped when they apply to colleges. Even though New Jersey has poured money into the state's 30 worst school districts to improve academic instruction, this money comes with strings attached. These districts need approval of their budgets from the state Department of Education, which often cuts out things like school bands and intramural sports.
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