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Is Your State Providing Equal Access to Education?

ProPublica analyzed federal education data from the 2009-2010 school year to examine whether states provide high-poverty schools equal access to advanced courses and special programs that researchers say will help them later in life. This is the first nationwide picture of exactly which courses are being taken at which schools and districts across the country. More than three-quarters of all public school children are represented. Read our story and our methodology.

Find a school

Bonnie Branch Middle School

4979 ILCHESTER RD, ELLICOTT CITY, MD., 21043 | Grades 6-8

Districts with 3,000 or more students
Students Total Teachers Inexp. Teachers
This School
685
50
4%
District 50.4K 3,705 12%
State 826K 56,262 11%
 
State Average
 
District Average

Percentage of relevant students who...

Get Free/Reduced Price Lunch

34%
13%

10%

Are in a Gifted/Talented Program

25%
28%

34%

Are

0%
0%

0% Am Indian
6%
15%

5% Asian
37%
20%

18% Black
10%
8%

5% Hispanic
45%
50%

56% White

Bonnie Branch Middle School, part of the Howard County Public Schools district, is located in Ellicott City, Maryland. The school reports an enrollment number of 685 students in grades six through eight, and it has 50 teachers on staff.

Bonnie Branch Middle School is below both the state and district averages for the percentage of its students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. On average, 34 percent of students in Maryland qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, whereas 10 percent of students at Bonnie Branch Middle School are eligible. At the district level, 13 percent are eligible.

ProPublica's analysis found that all too often, states and schools provide poor students fewer educational programs like Advanced Placement, gifted and talented programs, and advanced math and science classes. Studies have linked participation in these programs with better outcomes later in life. Our analysis uses free and reduced-price lunch to estimate poverty at schools. We based our findings on the most comprehensive data set of access to advanced classes and special programs in U.S. public schools — known as the Civil Rights Data Set— released by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

Bonnie Branch Middle School's enrollment rate for gifted and talented is 34 percent.

Booker T. Washington Middle School, in Baltimore, Md., is a higher-poverty school than Bonnie Branch Middle School, with 89 percent of its students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. The school enrolls 6 percent of students in the gifted and talented program.

These data points were reported by schools and districts to the Office for Civil Rights. For more information about the data, see our full methodology.

— Generated by Narrative Science