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Please contact us at edunomics@georgetown.edu for accessible versions of these resources.

ESSER is fueling one-size-fits-all strategies. Let’s use data to deliver more targeted efforts.

2022-07-01T21:52:11+00:00

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.


ESSER is fueling one-size-fits-all strategies. Let’s use data to deliver more targeted efforts.2022-07-01T21:52:11+00:00

30-Min Webinar: How can districts measure learning loss recovery costs?

2022-06-28T20:13:09+00:00

In this webinar we share “The Calculator,” a new tool that estimates lost learning time in more than 8,000 school districts and how much a district would need to invest to get students back on track.


30-Min Webinar: How can districts measure learning loss recovery costs?2022-06-28T20:13:09+00:00

New Learning Loss Calculator Estimates COVID Slide, Costs of Catching Kids Up, in 8,000 School Districts

2022-06-28T21:29:20+00:00

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.


New Learning Loss Calculator Estimates COVID Slide, Costs of Catching Kids Up, in 8,000 School Districts2022-06-28T21:29:20+00:00

Opinion: The N.Y. Legislature’s big class size mistake

2022-06-15T22:59:00+00:00

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.


Opinion: The N.Y. Legislature’s big class size mistake2022-06-15T22:59:00+00:00

What Are Districts Using Their Federal Relief Money for? How Fast Are They Spending It? How Much Is Left? New Interactive Database Has Answers

2022-06-28T21:16:00+00:00

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.


What Are Districts Using Their Federal Relief Money for? How Fast Are They Spending It? How Much Is Left? New Interactive Database Has Answers2022-06-28T21:16:00+00:00

Inflation Will Put Districts in a Pickle

2022-04-25T19:08:44+00:00

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.


Inflation Will Put Districts in a Pickle2022-04-25T19:08:44+00:00

ESSER Spending: Connecting Investments and Outcomes

2022-04-12T16:52:33+00:00

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.


ESSER Spending: Connecting Investments and Outcomes2022-04-12T16:52:33+00:00

Opinion: Pause HISD’s plan to centralize school funding

2022-07-05T20:52:03+00:00

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.


Opinion: Pause HISD’s plan to centralize school funding2022-07-05T20:52:03+00:00

A year ago, school districts got a windfall of pandemic aid. How’s that going?

2022-04-01T23:29:58+00:00

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.


A year ago, school districts got a windfall of pandemic aid. How’s that going?2022-04-01T23:29:58+00:00

Talking about ESSER: Ways to Build Community Trust and Keep the Focus on Results for Students

2022-02-22T23:01:59+00:00

Laura Anderson and Marguerite Roza map six ways district leaders can communicate about and help make the most of their ESSER investments.


Talking about ESSER: Ways to Build Community Trust and Keep the Focus on Results for Students2022-02-22T23:01:59+00:00

Marguerite Roza discusses how school districts should use federal COVID-19 relief funds to improve student outcomes

2022-04-25T19:12:19+00:00

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.


Marguerite Roza discusses how school districts should use federal COVID-19 relief funds to improve student outcomes2022-04-25T19:12:19+00:00

Punishment for Making Hard Choices in a Crisis: Federal Prison

2022-02-09T00:22:17+00:00

In this Education Next commentary, Marguerite Roza explains why every education leader should care about what happened to Julia Keleher.


Punishment for Making Hard Choices in a Crisis: Federal Prison2022-02-09T00:22:17+00:00

Setting Student Progress as a North Star Would Be a Game Changer

2022-02-09T00:02:39+00:00

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.


Setting Student Progress as a North Star Would Be a Game Changer2022-02-09T00:02:39+00:00

Do Districts Using Weighted Student Funding Formulas Deliver More Dollars to Low-Income Students?

2022-03-30T15:16:38+00:00

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.


Do Districts Using Weighted Student Funding Formulas Deliver More Dollars to Low-Income Students?2022-03-30T15:16:38+00:00

Leading Thoughtful Conversations on Resource Equity Using School-By-School Spending Data

2022-04-12T16:56:29+00:00

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.


Leading Thoughtful Conversations on Resource Equity Using School-By-School Spending Data2022-04-12T16:56:29+00:00

There Is No ‘Big Quit’ in K-12 Education. But Schools Have Specific Labor Challenges That Need Targeted Solutions

2022-01-24T23:14:04+00:00

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.


There Is No ‘Big Quit’ in K-12 Education. But Schools Have Specific Labor Challenges That Need Targeted Solutions2022-01-24T23:14:04+00:00

Focus On Student Outcomes, Not How Federal Funds Are Spent

2022-01-24T23:06:21+00:00

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.


Focus On Student Outcomes, Not How Federal Funds Are Spent2022-01-24T23:06:21+00:00

Existing Federal Provisions Can – If Given Appropriate Attention – Advance Within-District Financial Equity

2022-08-02T21:04:16+00:00

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.


Existing Federal Provisions Can – If Given Appropriate Attention – Advance Within-District Financial Equity2022-08-02T21:04:16+00:00

There’s a fiscal cliff coming, and some districts appear hell-bent on making it worse

2021-11-03T20:09:29+00:00

Districts are right to worry about a fiscal cliff when federal relief aid runs out, cautions Marguerite Roza, but leaders have options beyond handwringing.


There’s a fiscal cliff coming, and some districts appear hell-bent on making it worse2021-11-03T20:09:29+00:00

From Paying Parents to Transport Their Kids to School to Calling Out the National Guard — Innovating in the Face of a Bus Driver Shortage

2021-11-03T20:10:18+00:00

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.


From Paying Parents to Transport Their Kids to School to Calling Out the National Guard — Innovating in the Face of a Bus Driver Shortage2021-11-03T20:10:18+00:00

Districts Like San Diego Could Be Locking Themselves Into Painful Cuts Down the Road

2021-11-03T20:11:05+00:00

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.


Districts Like San Diego Could Be Locking Themselves Into Painful Cuts Down the Road2021-11-03T20:11:05+00:00

What will MoEquity mean for district budgets?

2021-11-22T20:08:35+00:00

In this webinar Marguerite Roza and Chad Aldeman discuss the new guidance for the maintenance of equity provision and what it would mean for districts faced with implementing it.


What will MoEquity mean for district budgets?2021-11-22T20:08:35+00:00

Wise Spending of Your Federal Relief Funds

2021-08-03T20:37:02+00:00

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.


Wise Spending of Your Federal Relief Funds2021-08-03T20:37:02+00:00

5 Ways Principals Can Make Federal Relief Money Matter More For Their Students

2022-02-22T23:05:36+00:00

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.


5 Ways Principals Can Make Federal Relief Money Matter More For Their Students2022-02-22T23:05:36+00:00

Communication Template for Principals on Use of Federal Relief Funds

2021-09-10T18:36:41+00:00

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.  


Communication Template for Principals on Use of Federal Relief Funds2021-09-10T18:36:41+00:00

Will the American Rescue Plan’s ‘Meaningful Consultation’ Requirement Usher in Community Participation in School Budgets?

2021-07-26T20:22:40+00:00

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.


Will the American Rescue Plan’s ‘Meaningful Consultation’ Requirement Usher in Community Participation in School Budgets?2021-07-26T20:22:40+00:00

Smart ways to cover the coming ‘year of ed finance’

2021-06-28T20:54:52+00:00

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.


Smart ways to cover the coming ‘year of ed finance’2021-06-28T20:54:52+00:00

Let Schools, Not District Offices, Decide How to Spend Some Federal Aid

2021-09-10T18:39:32+00:00

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.


Let Schools, Not District Offices, Decide How to Spend Some Federal Aid2021-09-10T18:39:32+00:00

Teacher Dissatisfaction May Be High, But So Are Retention Rates

2021-06-11T22:09:35+00:00

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.


Teacher Dissatisfaction May Be High, But So Are Retention Rates2021-06-11T22:09:35+00:00

Billions of Federal Funds Are Coming to Schools. How Should They Spend Them?

2021-05-25T20:58:55+00:00

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?


Billions of Federal Funds Are Coming to Schools. How Should They Spend Them?2021-05-25T20:58:55+00:00

By Paying Stipends to Schools’ Teaching Staff, Districts Can Add Learning Time Without Breaking the Bank

2021-05-03T21:57:08+00:00

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.


By Paying Stipends to Schools’ Teaching Staff, Districts Can Add Learning Time Without Breaking the Bank2021-05-03T21:57:08+00:00

Best- and worst-case scenarios for how school stimulus dollars will be spent

2021-04-13T00:19:41+00:00

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.


Best- and worst-case scenarios for how school stimulus dollars will be spent2021-04-13T00:19:41+00:00

With federal relief dollars on the way, districts face big decisions

2021-04-13T00:21:17+00:00

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. 


With federal relief dollars on the way, districts face big decisions2021-04-13T00:21:17+00:00

30-Min Webinar: Teacher Labor Market Trends and What They Mean For District Budgets

2022-02-08T21:36:24+00:00

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.


30-Min Webinar: Teacher Labor Market Trends and What They Mean For District Budgets2022-02-08T21:36:24+00:00

Remote or in Person? Underspending or Running Deficits? What School Reopening Decisions Mean for District Budgets

2021-03-22T22:04:48+00:00

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.


Remote or in Person? Underspending or Running Deficits? What School Reopening Decisions Mean for District Budgets2021-03-22T22:04:48+00:00

30-Min Webinar: Open Or Remote? What It Means For School District Budgets

2022-02-08T22:08:14+00:00

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.


30-Min Webinar: Open Or Remote? What It Means For School District Budgets2022-02-08T22:08:14+00:00

During the pandemic, lost education jobs aren’t what they seem

2021-03-02T21:50:15+00:00

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.


During the pandemic, lost education jobs aren’t what they seem2021-03-02T21:50:15+00:00

School Spending Data: A New National Data Archive

2022-04-12T16:58:12+00:00

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.


School Spending Data: A New National Data Archive2022-04-12T16:58:12+00:00

30-Min Webinar: Impacts of Enrollment Shifts and Learning Loss on District Finances

2022-02-08T23:08:48+00:00

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.


30-Min Webinar: Impacts of Enrollment Shifts and Learning Loss on District Finances2022-02-08T23:08:48+00:00

30-Min Webinar: The New Federal Aid Package

2022-02-08T23:42:00+00:00

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. 


30-Min Webinar: The New Federal Aid Package2022-02-08T23:42:00+00:00

Variation Is the Norm: A Landscape Analysis of Weighted Student Funding Implementation

2021-01-29T00:39:51+00:00

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.


Variation Is the Norm: A Landscape Analysis of Weighted Student Funding Implementation2021-01-29T00:39:51+00:00

Analysis: California Gives Districts Extra Money for Highest-Needs Students. But It Doesn’t Always Get to the Highest-Needs Schools

2020-12-08T22:05:22+00:00

In this analysis, Katie Silberstein and Marguerite Roza studied whether funds allocated by California's Local Control Funding Formula actually made it to the highest-needs schools.


Analysis: California Gives Districts Extra Money for Highest-Needs Students. But It Doesn’t Always Get to the Highest-Needs Schools2020-12-08T22:05:22+00:00

Use caution, district leaders: Even in a pandemic, there’s no immunity from financial missteps

2021-03-09T01:18:23+00:00

In this Thomas B. Fordham Institute article, Marguerite Roza warns that district leaders may be at a higher risk for accusations of financial missteps.


Use caution, district leaders: Even in a pandemic, there’s no immunity from financial missteps2021-03-09T01:18:23+00:00

Lessons Learned: Weighted Student Funding

2022-04-12T17:05:45+00:00

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.


Lessons Learned: Weighted Student Funding2022-04-12T17:05:45+00:00

Spending patterns, equity and achievement in districts using weighted student funding

2022-02-08T20:17:47+00:00

Edunomics Lab's findings from a three-year, Institute of Education Sciences study titled "How do Spending Patterns Change with Weighted Student Funding (WSF), and What's Happening to Equity and Achievement, Particularly for Poor and At-Risk Students?"


Spending patterns, equity and achievement in districts using weighted student funding2022-02-08T20:17:47+00:00

Taking Stock of Principals’ Role in Weighted Student Funding Districts

2020-10-27T19:49:19+00:00

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.


Taking Stock of Principals’ Role in Weighted Student Funding Districts2020-10-27T19:49:19+00:00

ED Surprises SEAs with New Data Release

2020-11-07T00:47:38+00:00

In this blog, Marguerite Roza discusses efforts to make new school-by-school spending data easier to find, interpret, and use.


ED Surprises SEAs with New Data Release2020-11-07T00:47:38+00:00

When it Comes to School Funds, Hold-Harmless Provisions Aren’t “Harmless”

2020-11-24T01:05:13+00:00

In this Education Next article, Marguerite Roza and Hannah Jarmolowski share how state leaders can address budget shortfalls without making disproportionate cuts to high-poverty districts.


When it Comes to School Funds, Hold-Harmless Provisions Aren’t “Harmless”2020-11-24T01:05:13+00:00

30-Min Webinar: Updated Financials, and State and District Responses

2022-02-08T23:24:39+00:00

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.


30-Min Webinar: Updated Financials, and State and District Responses2022-02-08T23:24:39+00:00

The financial landscape and what it means for public education

2022-07-26T23:02:44+00:00

In this series of 30-minute webinars, Marguerite Roza shares what we are learning as the financial outlook for public education evolves and implications for states and districts as they make financial plans for the coming weeks and year.


The financial landscape and what it means for public education2022-07-26T23:02:44+00:00

Straight Talk In Financially Uncertain Times: How District Leaders Can Communicate About The Messy Financial Landscape Coming Their Way

2022-01-24T21:23:40+00:00

In this guest blog post, Laura Anderson and Marguerite Roza share how district leaders can best communicate financial decisions to their staff and communities in order to build trust.


Straight Talk In Financially Uncertain Times: How District Leaders Can Communicate About The Messy Financial Landscape Coming Their Way2022-01-24T21:23:40+00:00

New Financial Data Spotlight the District Role in Distributing Dollars Across Schools

2020-08-03T20:24:15+00:00

In this Education Next article, Marguerite Roza and Laura Anderson share what we’re learning from early explorations of the data and the opportunities it provides for education leaders.


New Financial Data Spotlight the District Role in Distributing Dollars Across Schools2020-08-03T20:24:15+00:00

How the coronavirus shutdown will affect school district revenues

2020-08-03T20:24:57+00:00

In this Brookings Chalkboard blog, Marguerite Roza discusses what a larger state role in education funding means for districts during an economic downturn.


How the coronavirus shutdown will affect school district revenues2020-08-03T20:24:57+00:00

30-Min Webinar: Projections, Stimulus, and Typical District Actions

2022-02-08T23:28:28+00:00

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.


30-Min Webinar: Projections, Stimulus, and Typical District Actions2022-02-08T23:28:28+00:00

30-Min Webinar: What Will the Financial Turmoil Mean for Public Education?

2022-02-08T23:36:40+00:00

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.


30-Min Webinar: What Will the Financial Turmoil Mean for Public Education?2022-02-08T23:36:40+00:00

The Big Bet on Adding Staff to Improve Schools Is Breaking the Bank

2020-08-03T20:25:42+00:00

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.


The Big Bet on Adding Staff to Improve Schools Is Breaking the Bank2020-08-03T20:25:42+00:00

The “Would You Rather?” Test

2020-08-03T20:28:42+00:00

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.


The “Would You Rather?” Test2020-08-03T20:28:42+00:00

A Guide for SEA-led Resource Allocation Reviews. Appendix 1: Sample Data Report

2020-08-03T20:29:11+00:00

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.


A Guide for SEA-led Resource Allocation Reviews. Appendix 1: Sample Data Report2020-08-03T20:29:11+00:00

Webinar: The Changing Role of Education Finance Leadership

2020-12-09T03:01:32+00:00

This webinar explores connections and opportunities with ESSA's financial transparency requirement, the new Supplement-not-Supplant requirement for a district “resource allocation methodology” and “resource allocation reviews,” and what each means for states and districts.


Webinar: The Changing Role of Education Finance Leadership2020-12-09T03:01:32+00:00

Weighted Student Funding Is On The Rise. Here’s What We Are Learning

2020-08-03T23:03:06+00:00

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.


Weighted Student Funding Is On The Rise. Here’s What We Are Learning2020-08-03T23:03:06+00:00

New Education Department guidance on supplement-not-supplant: Sorry not sorry

2020-08-03T21:46:47+00:00

In this Brookings Chalkboard blog post, Marguerite Roza discusses new U.S. Department of Education guidance on monitoring the “supplement-not-supplant” (SNS) provision of Title I.


New Education Department guidance on supplement-not-supplant: Sorry not sorry2020-08-03T21:46:47+00:00

Dear districts: These are the glory days. Are you ready for tomorrow’s financial pain?

2020-08-03T21:45:02+00:00

In this commentary, Marguerite Roza writes that districts have a chance to strategically prepare for the inevitable economic downturn by reducing recurring costs and resisting more hiring; shifting budget choices to schools, allowing them to protect what matters most; and building trust around money and engaging community in tradeoffs.


Dear districts: These are the glory days. Are you ready for tomorrow’s financial pain?2020-08-03T21:45:02+00:00

Webinar: An Introduction to Student-Based Allocation

2020-04-17T03:16:13+00:00

Designed for district and community leaders, this webinar shares how student-based allocation (SBA) works, why districts use SBA, what SBA formulas look like, and what steps and resources districts can take and tap to move toward SBA.


Webinar: An Introduction to Student-Based Allocation2020-04-17T03:16:13+00:00

Taking stock of California’s weighted student funding overhaul: What have districts done with their spending flexibility?

2020-03-17T04:48:41+00:00

In 2013 California adopted the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) to drive more resources to students with higher needs, create more spending flexibility, and let districts decide how to spend substantial new dollars. Our analysis examines financial data from nearly all California school systems to clarify how their spending choices changed in the first three years of the new state funding law.


Taking stock of California’s weighted student funding overhaul: What have districts done with their spending flexibility?2020-03-17T04:48:41+00:00

Did districts concentrate new state money on highest-needs schools? Answer: Depends on the district.

2020-03-17T04:55:33+00:00

Our analysis of eight districts takes a first look at whether CA districts did, under LCFF, allocate a larger share of their new funds to their highest-needs schools.


Did districts concentrate new state money on highest-needs schools? Answer: Depends on the district.2020-03-17T04:55:33+00:00

California’s weighted student funding formula: Does it help money matter more?

2020-03-17T05:03:12+00:00

As California’s LCFF enters Year 5 of implementation, this brief analyzes whether we are seeing an improved relationship between spending and outcomes.


California’s weighted student funding formula: Does it help money matter more?2020-03-17T05:03:12+00:00

Analyzing early impacts of California’s Local Control Funding Formula

2020-03-17T05:11:44+00:00

In 2013, California adopted the Local Control Funding Formula, shifting control over spending decisions from the state legislature to local school districts and eliminating many state-imposed spending rules. This three-part series analyzes early impacts of the LCFF, one of the nation’s largest weighted student funding (WSF) overhauls to date.


Analyzing early impacts of California’s Local Control Funding Formula2020-03-17T05:11:44+00:00

Webinar: What does the ESSA financial transparency requirement mean for districts?

2020-04-17T03:18:09+00:00

This webinar provides an overview of the financial transparency requirement in the Every Student Succeeds Act, highlight lessons learned from states working toward meeting the requirement, and provide a district lens for thinking about the opportunities this new data can provide.


Webinar: What does the ESSA financial transparency requirement mean for districts?2020-04-17T03:18:09+00:00

Productivity Improvements Paper Series

2020-03-16T21:36:47+00:00

These five Rapid Response briefs model the costs of productivity improvements in K-12 education, including changes in staffing ratios, the impact of late-career teacher pay raises on pension debt, and paying the best teachers more to teach more students.


Productivity Improvements Paper Series2020-03-16T21:36:47+00:00

The Equity Problem in Teacher Pensions

2020-03-16T21:38:41+00:00

This brief shows how high-minority schools receive fewer dollars in pension wealth than low-minority schools within the same district, and makes the case for pension dollars to be more transparent and included in discussions around K-12 spending equity.


The Equity Problem in Teacher Pensions2020-03-16T21:38:41+00:00

Breaking tradition: A fixed-dollar pay raise strategy that benefits teachers and school districts

2020-03-16T21:54:49+00:00

In this paper we examine both the degree to which pay systems for teachers are more heavily back-loaded than for many other professions and the ramifications of this steep salary curve for teachers, states and school districts.


Breaking tradition: A fixed-dollar pay raise strategy that benefits teachers and school districts2020-03-16T21:54:49+00:00

How the teacher pay raise formula could worsen Seattle’s inequity

2020-03-16T22:04:10+00:00

In this oped Marguerite Roza describes one critical issue underlying the fall 2015 Seattle Public Schools teachers' strike that neither the Seattle School District nor the Seattle Education Association.


How the teacher pay raise formula could worsen Seattle’s inequity2020-03-16T22:04:10+00:00

Title I: Time to Get It Right

2020-03-16T22:32:31+00:00

In this brief on the landmark federal law’s 50th anniversary, we offer five key principles to help policymakers revise Title I so that it fulfills its promise of augmenting funding for poor students.


Title I: Time to Get It Right2020-03-16T22:32:31+00:00

Paying the Best Teachers More to Teach More Students

2020-04-17T03:24:36+00:00

In this analysis we find how allowing our best teachers to teach more students in lieu of hiring additional staff could offer significant teacher bonuses. Findings are modeled state-by-state.


Paying the Best Teachers More to Teach More Students2020-04-17T03:24:36+00:00

How Late-Career Raises Drive Teacher-Pension Debt

2020-03-16T23:56:22+00:00

In this paper we model the impacts of late-term raises on teacher pension obligations showing that on average each dollar raise triggers $10 to $16 in new taxpayer obligations and provide suggestions to mitigate such impacts while improving incentives for early and mid career teachers.


How Late-Career Raises Drive Teacher-Pension Debt2020-03-16T23:56:22+00:00

Can decentralization improve Seattle schools?

2020-03-16T23:40:52+00:00

In this op-ed, we argue that when the district decides what positions to fund in a school—rather than the school being empowered to decide based on its community priorities—it destroys goodwill and trust in the school system.


Can decentralization improve Seattle schools?2020-03-16T23:40:52+00:00

Denver Public Schools: Making More Money Follow Students

2020-03-17T00:31:00+00:00

This two-page brief outlines how Denver Public Schools has steadily increased the amount of district funds funneled through the student based allocation formula the school system adopted in 2008. In fiscal 2014, the district allocated $3235 million, or approximately 38 percent, of its $865 million budget.


Denver Public Schools: Making More Money Follow Students2020-03-17T00:31:00+00:00

What Portion of District Funds Follow Students?

2020-03-17T00:41:10+00:00

Part of our ongoing study of budgets in systems implementing student based allocation, in this four-page brief we analyze 12 district budgets and find that the systems allocate roughly 24 to 42 percent of their funds through an SBA formula.


What Portion of District Funds Follow Students?2020-03-17T00:41:10+00:00

Boston Public Schools: Weighting What Matters

2020-03-17T00:33:04+00:00

In this three-page brief, we analyze the share of district dollars Boston Public Schools funneled through its student based allocation formula, adopted in 2012. In fiscal 2014, the district allocated $3235 million, or approximately 38 percent, of its $865 million budget through the formula.


Boston Public Schools: Weighting What Matters2020-03-17T00:33:04+00:00

How much money follows the student in WSF (aka SBA) districts?

2020-03-17T00:57:38+00:00

In this presentation at the annual Association for Education Finance and Policy conference, we share our findings that the percent of total funds allocated via student based allocation (%SBA) ranges from a low of 23 percent to a high of 45 percent among ten urban school districts studied.


How much money follows the student in WSF (aka SBA) districts?2020-03-17T00:57:38+00:00

Rethinking Class Size to Expand Access to Best Teachers and Raise Pay

2020-04-08T22:38:55+00:00

In this presentation at the annual Association for Education Finance and Policy conference, we share our exploration and cost modeling of cost-neutral options to raise teacher pay and give more students access to the best teachers.


Rethinking Class Size to Expand Access to Best Teachers and Raise Pay2020-04-08T22:38:55+00:00

Taking Off the Heat

2020-04-08T22:39:36+00:00

On January 29, 2014 Marguerite Roza shared risks and rewards that emerge when districts “decentralize” engagement around financial decisions to the school level with Portfolio School District Network members in Houston, TX.


Taking Off the Heat2020-04-08T22:39:36+00:00

VisionSBA: K-12 Financial Modeling Tool

2020-04-08T22:31:50+00:00

VisionSBA provides education leaders with a unique outlook on spending by school level within a district, delivering insight into relative spending across schools adjusted for each school’s actual mix of students. This interactive tool developed by Marguerite Roza and Jim Simpkins answers the question: “How much does each school spend relative to all other schools in this district taking into account its particular mix of students?”


VisionSBA: K-12 Financial Modeling Tool2020-04-08T22:31:50+00:00

The Case Against High School Sports

2020-03-17T05:35:47+00:00

In this article published by The Atlantic, author Amanda Ripley draws on Marguerite Roza’s research as she describes the role of high school sports in the American education system, how current resource allocations favor sports over academics, and consequences as American students fall behind in international rankings.


The Case Against High School Sports2020-03-17T05:35:47+00:00

Funding Phantom Students

2020-03-16T16:38:53+00:00

This brief describes a common practice that inhibits both efficiency and productivity: funding students who do not actually attend school in funded districts and how this is often overlooked by state leaders.


Funding Phantom Students2020-03-16T16:38:53+00:00

How Current Education Governance Distorts Financial Decisionmaking

2020-03-16T16:35:19+00:00

In this chapter, Roza assesses the strengths and weaknesses of what remains of the old in education governance, scrutinizes how traditional governance forms are changing, and suggests how governing arrangements might be further altered to produce better educational outcomes for children.


How Current Education Governance Distorts Financial Decisionmaking2020-03-16T16:35:19+00:00

Student-Based Allocation to Enable School Choice

2020-03-16T16:34:29+00:00

This brief explains the need for student-based allocation to enable student choice and portable funding across schools within districts.


Student-Based Allocation to Enable School Choice2020-03-16T16:34:29+00:00

What Happens to Teacher Salaries During a Recession?

2020-04-17T02:41:17+00:00

This study uses data from Seattle Public Schools to explore actual salary changes amidst rapid changes in economic context and the effect of the recession on teacher pay.


What Happens to Teacher Salaries During a Recession?2020-04-17T02:41:17+00:00

The Promise of Cafeteria-Style Benefits for Districts and Teachers

2020-03-16T16:03:12+00:00

While typical school district plans offer a one-size-fits-all package of benefits to employees, cafeteria plans allow employees to customize their benefits within a given cost, an option districts may want to consider.


The Promise of Cafeteria-Style Benefits for Districts and Teachers2020-03-16T16:03:12+00:00

A False Dilemma: Should Decisions About Education Resource Use Be Made at the State or Local Level?

2020-03-16T15:56:32+00:00

The shift in authority from the local to the state level raises several critical questions. In this paper, the authors suggest that the question should be “What obstacles prevent better connections between real dollars and valuable resources for students?”


A False Dilemma: Should Decisions About Education Resource Use Be Made at the State or Local Level?2020-03-16T15:56:32+00:00

Beyond Teacher Reassignments: Better Ways Districts Can Remedy Salary Inequities Across Schools

2020-04-17T02:56:50+00:00

This brief demonstrates how, contrary to common worry, closing Title I's "comparability provision" loophole would not force districts to mandatorily reassign teachers.


Beyond Teacher Reassignments: Better Ways Districts Can Remedy Salary Inequities Across Schools2020-04-17T02:56:50+00:00

Now is a Great Time to Compute the Per-Unit Cost of Everything in Education

2020-03-13T22:48:32+00:00

This paper examines how calculating the per unit costs of what schools or districts can deliver can provide the best insight into the implications of all that spending. 


Now is a Great Time to Compute the Per-Unit Cost of Everything in Education2020-03-13T22:48:32+00:00

Seniority-Based Layoffs Will Exacerbate Job Loss in Public Education

2020-04-17T02:59:06+00:00

This brief details why K-12 school districts that lay off personnel according to seniority cause disproportionate damage to their programs and students than if layoffs were determined on a seniority-neutral basis.


Seniority-Based Layoffs Will Exacerbate Job Loss in Public Education2020-04-17T02:59:06+00:00

Understanding Student-Weighted Allocation as a Means to Greater School Resource Equity

2020-03-13T22:49:46+00:00

This study examines Houston ISD and Cincinnati Public Schools, providing evidence that student-weighted allocation can be a means toward greater resource equity among schools within districts.


Understanding Student-Weighted Allocation as a Means to Greater School Resource Equity2020-03-13T22:49:46+00:00

How Districts Shortchange Low-Income and Minority Students

2020-03-13T22:50:25+00:00

Dr. Roza's analysis demonstrates that, despite district bookkeeping practices that make funding across schools within the same district appear relatively comparable, substantially less money is spent in high-poverty and high-minority schools.


How Districts Shortchange Low-Income and Minority Students2020-03-13T22:50:25+00:00

Pennywise and Pound Foolish in Education

2020-03-13T22:50:54+00:00

The authors suggest that weighed student funding would show exactly where the money is going and foster transparency and accountability for performance, thereby potentially closing the gaps in local public service quality between the privileged and the disadvantaged.


Pennywise and Pound Foolish in Education2020-03-13T22:50:54+00:00

A Cost Allocation Model for Shared District Resources: A Means for Comparing Spending Across Schools

2020-03-13T22:51:14+00:00

It can be difficult to assess how resources are distributed between schools, and whether every school is afforded the same opportunities to meet its educational goals. This paper addresses one key driver of spending variation between schools: shared district resources.


A Cost Allocation Model for Shared District Resources: A Means for Comparing Spending Across Schools2020-03-13T22:51:14+00:00

Leveling the Playing Field: Creating Funding Equity Through Student-Based Budgeting

2020-03-13T22:51:36+00:00

This report traces Cincinnati Public Schools' process of moving to a system of student based budgeting: funding children rather than staff members, and weighting the funding according to schools and students' needs.


Leveling the Playing Field: Creating Funding Equity Through Student-Based Budgeting2020-03-13T22:51:36+00:00