State and district leaders could simultaneously reduce retirement costs and improve benefits for teachers, writes Chad Aldeman.
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A lack of school board financial expertise is especially problematic as members wrestle with the pressures of enrollment declines, inflation, and the temporary nature of federal relief funds, writes Marguerite Roza in Forbes.
School district budgets are about to be hit by a powerful wave of financial pressures. In this webinar we walk through a mix of factors, explain how - and when - they're likely to hit district budgets, and discuss how district and state leaders can make smart decisions now to prepare.
The pandemic left schools with mammoth challenges. Using data to zero in on problem hotspots makes tackling them much more manageable. That should happen now, write Marguerite Roza and Ellie Roza, while federal relief money is still on the table.
The Edunomics Lab team used the results from new research to build a calculator tool that estimates lost learning time in more than 8,000 school districts and what it will cost to get students back on track. In this commentary published by The 74, the authors urge district leaders to take stock of where their students are, and invest federal relief dollars now in ways that work for students.
In this New York Daily News op ed, Chad Aldeman argues that across-the-board class size caps in New York City may not benefit all students and will limit other spending that might be more effective, for example on extracurriculars or counselors or higher salaries for teachers.
Because Congress directed federal relief funds to flow through states, districts file for reimbursement as the funds go out the door. In an analysis published by The 74, the Edunomics Lab team shares early results of tracking the actual spending data, district by district.
With contract negotiations pending and federal relief funds complicating the labor market, how can school districts respond to rising inflation pressures? In this Education Next commentary, Marguerite Roza suggests options to help mitigate long-term fiscal impacts.
In this National Comprehensive Center webinar, Edunomics Lab shared an “investment tool” to help SEAs and LEAs assess their ESSER III investments and finalize spending plans to do the most for students.
In this article in School Business Affairs Magazine, the authors outline the types of innovative compensation strategies some districts are using to attract and retain talent in response to a tight labor market.
In this Houston Chronicle op ed, Jessica Swanson and Marguerite Roza urge the Houston school board to take the time to ensure a full public vetting of the superintendent's proposal to centralize school funding.
In this Brookings Chalkboard blog, Marguerite Roza and Katherine Silberstein look at the magnitude of federal relief fund spending and conclude that districts need to up the pace at which money goes out the door each month.
Marguerite Roza explores the gap in financial training for aspiring K-12 education leaders and suggests ways that higher education can improve its offerings.
Laura Anderson and Marguerite Roza map six ways district leaders can communicate about and help make the most of their ESSER investments.
In an interview with Jude Schwalbach at Reason Foundation, Marguerite Roza urges leaders to stay laser-focused on the federal relief funds’ true purpose: ameliorating learning loss and getting kids back on track.
In this Education Next commentary, Marguerite Roza explains why every education leader should care about what happened to Julia Keleher.
Shifting the focus from what districts are purchasing with ESSER funds to what progress students are making would be a game changer, writes Marguerite Roza in The 74.
This working paper examines how equitably 20 WSF districts distribute dollars to their schools as measured against a cohort of 20 comparable districts that use a traditional, centralized staffing model.
This resource guides leaders in using data visualizations to foster thoughtful conversations with different stakeholder groups about financial strategy and management, equity and using dollars to do the most for students.
This landscape analysis of current leading university education finance offerings finds that curricula lean more toward theory versus application and hands-on financial skill-building for future district and school leaders.
There is no 'Big Quit' in K-12 education. But schools have specific labor challenges that need targeted solutions, writes Chad Aldeman in The 74.
Congress attached few strings to federal relief funds and will have to trust school districts to spend the money wisely. Chad Aldeman writes in Forbes that the Feds could now help clarify what the money was for by focusing on the student outcomes that matter most.
A list of datasets commonly used in education research and practice focused primarily on finance-related data.
In this webinar we look at how federal relief money is being tracked and what we're learning as a result.
This brief outlines the types of teacher pay innovations popping up in the midst of the pandemic, explains why they matter, and highlights some of the districts trying them. It remains to be seen whether some of these innovations may live on beyond the pandemic if district leaders find them effective.
With $190 billion in federal relief funds going to schools, Marguerite Roza shares likely spending mistakes districts will make and some prescriptions for how to prevent them.
Sharing a portion of federal relief funds with families offers school districts a chance to re-engage students and parents and sends a message that they are valued partners in solving problems that directly affect them, writes Marguerite Roza in Forbes.
In an interview with Rick Hess, Marguerite Roza shares her take on how school district leaders can spend COVID-19 aid wisely and well.
Education finance is a messy topic for journalists, and this last year has made it especially hard to neatly summarize the issues. Chad Aldeman cautions that reporters who focus exclusively on questions of scarcity may perpetuate a false narrative and miss the biggest education finance story of the last decade: How are district leaders spending their new financial windfalls, and what effect is it having on students?
While the infusion of federal relief aid has temporarily protected most school districts from the fiscal impact of enrollment losses, this article in School Business Affairs magazine highlights why it's important to proactively plan now for how to maintain services once those supplemental funds are gone.
NAEP scores are going down or flat. People have different takes on why. In this Eduwonk blog, Marguerite Roza takes a look at the question of money.
Four existing federal provisions have potential, if made a priority, to work together to foster within-district financial equity, write Marguerite Roza and Hannah Jarmolowski.
Districts are right to worry about a fiscal cliff when federal relief aid runs out, cautions Marguerite Roza, but leaders have options beyond handwringing.
How districts react to unusual labor challenges like the bus driver shortage may tell us whether they can adapt to meet the moment and which, if any, will consider adopting innovations common in industries outside of education.
Rather than making long-term commitments that can lead to financial stress down the road, Chad Aldeman suggests there are other ways for districts to both raise pay and build capacity.
Chad Aldeman and Marguerite Roza explain how an expansive interpretation of a new federal provision could have unintended consequences.
As school districts decide how to spend their flexible federal relief funding, Marguerite Roza and Chad Aldeman offer five key questions to help ensure they make the most of it for students.
Marguerite Roza and Laura Anderson map five ways principals can help make the most of the American Rescue Plan dollars, in a blog published by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
Based on messaging research on how district staff, principals, teachers, and parents engage with and react to information about school finance, this template will help principals engage their community in a way that cultivates trust and helps make the most of the federal relief dollars.
In Forbes, Marguerite Roza writes that the federal requirement for “meaningful consultation” on the use of ARP funds sounds like a call for participatory budgeting, and wonders whether it could prompt a new level of civic engagement in school spending.
In this Forbes commentary, Chad Aldeman explains how the American Recovery Plan differs from past federal relief efforts for schools, and what that means for state and district leaders looking to make these one-time dollars count.
Marguerite Roza offers six tips for reporters on covering how school districts choose to spend $122 billion in flexible American Rescue Plan funds, the biggest onetime federal payout to schools ever.
In this Education Next commentary, Marguerite Roza and Jessica Swanson suggest that districts give a portion of federal relief dollars directly to schools to decide how best to spend on behalf of their students.
Across Washington state, public schools retained a higher percentage of teachers last year than they do in normal years. That's important information for school district leaders as they decide how to spend the windfall of federal relief funds headed their way.
Adding staff has been the main “big bet” in public education for decades. With new federal relief aid heading to schools, will district leaders meet the moment with new and different ideas for what students need now?
In this webinar, we take the pulse on school districts' early ESSER spending plans to share some of the patterns we're seeing.
In this commentary at The 74, Chad Aldeman shows how offering current teachers stipends to take on more hours could provide students with additional learning time without locking districts into long-term financial obligations.
Will an unprecedented federal infusion of money lead to an unprecedented recovery effort? In this Thomas B. Fordham Institute blog, Chad Aldeman considers the range of possibilities.
In this Education Next commentary, Marguerite Roza and Chad Aldeman suggest that it's a good time for leaders to employ the classic "would you rather" test to help explore spending tradeoffs and think through the cost and value of competing investments.
This decision tree describes the desired features of a state education funding formula and walks policymakers through key decisions and considerations around balancing efficiency, equity and trade-offs in particular contexts.
In this Forbes commentary, Marguerite Roza proposes a way for the federal government to provide student debt relief while putting SS/Medicare back on a financially sustainable path.
In this webinar, we share what we're learning from the data on teacher turnover and discuss how the current fiscal conditions should inform staffing and salaries as districts navigate budget and hiring season.
An Edunomics Lab analysis finds that while many districts are struggling financially, those that have remained mostly or entirely virtual have actually been able to save money. Some are even on pace to run surpluses this year.
In this webinar we explore how district spending varies depending on whether schools are remote or in-person (is the financial focus on remediation? or on reopening?), and look at what new federal relief dollars could mean for district finances.
In this Brookings Chalkboard blog, Chad Aldeman digs into BLS data to find that recent public education job losses stem from a slowdown in hiring, not layoffs or a surge in worker turnover.
In this brief, Hannah Jarmolowski and Marguerite Roza outline what states need to weigh when it comes to hold harmless provisions.
Chad Aldeman shares an analysis of the life trajectories of babies born during the Spanish Flu, and possible implications for the economic impacts of COVID-19.
This paper introduces a new national data archive that will capture year-over-year school-by-school spending figures reported by each state and enable easier cost-benefit analysis and new research on equity, innovation, and productivity at the school level.
In this webinar we look at the implications of enrollment losses and state revenue declines for school district budget decisions, including hold harmless policies that protect districts from losing state funds. We also consider different district investment options to address learning loss with new federal funds.
In this webinar we answer early questions about the new federal relief funds for education and share the latest financial updates and what they mean for state and district leaders in the coming months.
This cross‐district comparison of 19 districts finds commonly cited reasons for adopting weighted student funding (equity, transparency, and school‐level spending flexibility). However, there is no standard WSF formula and districts are implementing it quite differently.
In this op-ed, Marguerite Roza proposes a separate, flexible sum targeted at helping students for whom pandemic schooling isn't working.
This brief summarizes findings from a three-year, U.S. Department of Education-funded research study analyzing the use of weighted student funding (WSF) at the district and state level.
In this brief, based upon a 2017-18 survey of 639 principals in 14 school districts implementing weighted student funding, we find that principals are actively engaged in the budget process and utilize their flexibilities, but often do not come into their role with the financial leadership training to carry out those tasks.
This brief offers first-cut answers to early concerns and newly emerging questions about new state reporting of per-pupil spending data.
As shortfalls in state budgets take shape, the financial outlook for public education is changing rapidly. In this webinar we share the latest implications for district finances and staffing, and a round-up of how states and districts across the country are responding.
In this Brookings Chalkboard blog, Marguerite Roza discusses what a larger state role in education funding means for districts during an economic downturn.
What will the financial turmoil will mean for public education? In this webinar we share what we are learning about the economic outlook, CARES Act, other stimulus efforts, and what states and districts might consider as they make financial plans for the coming weeks and year.
In response to numerous inquiries on how school systems will be affected by the economic turmoil, this short interactive webinar shares what we are learning about the financial outlook, and what states and districts might consider as they make financial plans for the coming weeks and year.
In this Hunt Institute "Making Sense of NC School Funding" blog, Marguerite Roza provides a national perspective on how states approach school funding.
By going all-in on staffing, we’ve crowded out other potential investments that can positively impact student learning. In this paper, Marguerite Roza writes that competing strategies should be viewed through the lens of which can do the most for students with the limited dollars at hand.
When the U.S. Department of Education proposed significant changes to the Civil Rights Data Collection, we broke with many of our peer organizations to write in support of eliminating the school finance portion.
Past generations racked up billions in teacher pension debt and younger generations are now expected to pay for it. This blog shows how a multi-generational discussion of that topic might play out.
Chicago's senior teachers got hit with a double whammy. As we discuss in this blog, for those at the top of the pay scale retiring in the next four years, the strike meant lost wages and a decrease in future pension payments.
This brief quantifies, in per pupil and per teacher terms, the magnitude of the crowd-out that pension debt creates for six states: CA, IL, LA, SC, TX, and VT. The goal is to help education leaders grasp the relationship between their pension debt bills and their aspirations for spending on schooling inputs, including teacher salaries.
Chicago teacher contract negotiations stalled over who controls staffing decisions in schools. In this commentary, Marguerite Roza explains why principals should be entrusted to make the spending decisions that best serve their students.
Education spending always involves choices, and smart choices require understanding value for the dollar. This paper uses the "would you rather" exercise to explore tradeoffs in school spending and think through the value of various cost-equivalent investments.
Resource allocation reviews (RARs) in districts that serve low-performing schools offer a new opportunity to examine the connection between resource allocation and academic outcomes. This sample data report is an example of what state leaders can assemble and share with district leaders.
Student-based allocation (also known as weighted student funding) provides the most equitable, efficient, and flexible path toward increased productivity. This brief explains why it is a good idea to allocate resources on the basis of students, and measures several states' progress toward doing so.
This commentary lays out why it may be time for states to establish agencies modeled on the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) to certify school district obligations before they take effect and push districts into financial crisis.
This article in Education Next shines a light on the pressing need to better support district and school leaders in their work on the spending side of the equation.
This article provides tips for school, district, and state leaders to communicate effectively about school finance issues—whether the topic is a state funding formula, a local tax levy, teacher salaries, or spending on athletics—and build much-needed trust and understanding in the process.
In this commentary The 74, Marguerite Roza and Anthony Drew note that many of the country’s largest school districts have shifted to a decentralized funding model, allocating funds to schools based on student needs, and boosting equity and transparency in the process. They urge LAUSD leaders to follow suit.
In this blog, Marguerite Roza discusses initial findings from our IES-funded research study that seeks to document the range of WSF formulas and detail how they are being implemented in school systems around the nation.
In this commentary in The 74, Marguerite Roza urges legislators to consider a proposed pilot program to give school leaders and staff a say in how federal resources are used in their schools
This checklist will help SEAs determine what they hope to accomplish with their financial transparency reporting and which data elements to include in order to answer a range of critical questions.
At the Education Writers Association National Seminar on June 2nd, hosted at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Marguerite Roza presented on new school spending reports emerging under the federal ESSA financial transparency requirement.
This document offers a set of exercises designed to help education leaders better understand the relationship between spending and student performance—and position them to use emerging data to explore opportunities for productivity in their day-to-day work improving education.
Remote rural districts are often more expensive and yield lower student outcomes than urban and suburban districts. Yet some rural districts generate higher-than-expected learning results without proportionately higher spending. Based on interviews with leaders in 30 rural remote districts, Marguerite Roza identifies six factors that make some districts “productivity superstars."