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Reply to "The Effect of Public Schools on Our Kids"

Property taxes here in NJ are only one way the public schools are funded. We have 31 "Abbott Districts" which receive additional taxpayer money. I believe the school district in Newark NJ spends approximately $18,000 per student, per year. The district I live in spends approximately $11,000 per student.
Why, if not the home environment, are the almighty 'standardized test scores' so much better for the school that gets LESS money?

Top 25 school districts NATIONWIDE of over 10,000 students in per-pupil spending, 2002-03 school year

1) Newark, NJ $17,652
2) Trenton, NJ $15,438
3) Jersey City, NJ $14,820
4) Patterson, NJ $14,514
5) Camden, NJ $14,499

That was for three school years ago, it is even higher now.

Another question, we rehab properties in Trenton, NJ and routinely pass the high school there at opening and closing. It is so rare as to be noteable to see any kids carrying books into or out of the school. Why??