Ignoring the effect on students of the social context in which badly underfunded public schools exist is just another way of insuring that poor children of color will not fully develop as whole individuals. It's like feeding them on bread and water and then putting them into foot races with youth whose nutritional needs have been completely met. And I would argue that those with the Power-to-Define know it full well. Which, in my book, makes it a human rights violation.
I see students of color, and most particularly African-American students, every day who are struggling because they are unprepared to meet the challenges of higher education. Invariably, they believe they are, for whatever reason, incapable. Not only do I do back flips in the attempt to assure them that they've been shoved into a trick-bag and CAN, in fact, still get out, I boldly offer to be their ally while they do it.
Public school education in schools that have been given short shrift needs to be a major recipient of any "stimulus package" funding over coming years. Investing in the education of humans who have been (and are being) left behind is not only appropriate, but crucial, if we want to climb out of the economic and social slough of despond into which we have fallen as a nation.