This tool helps school, district, and state leaders strategically weigh investments by calculating per-student costs and spelling out desired results, risks involved, and how effectiveness will be measured.
Why NERD$? For decades, large financial datasets captured only district-level spending data. But districtwide averages, whether for performance, spending, teacher salaries, or other data points, mask variation at the school level within districts. As with many other industries and policy areas, the use of aggregated and/or average data in education finance obscures the factors that may be more relevant in explaining
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. We've created guidance documents, templates, and tips to help SEAs prepare for and conduct RARs.
Never before have district leaders faced such competing priorities: spend down relief dollars in ways that bring value for students, while also bracing for budget gaps unlike any in history. In this webinar we share what we're seeing in district balance sheets, and outline key issues for this spring's budget discussions.
With 18 months to go before ESSER ends, Katherine Silberstein and Marguerite Roza take stock of how school districts have spent their funds so far, at Education Next.
Marguerite Roza suggests keeping an eye on six critical issues during this spring's district budget discussions, as decisions made there will determine what happens on teacher layoffs, school closings, program cuts, and more.
Higher spending in the final months of ESSER makes for deeper cuts come the 2024-25 school year, writes Marguerite Roza in Forbes. Meanwhile, students are still far behind where they should be.
Some school districts are flush with cash, but can’t find enough people to fill their open roles. In this Education Week commentary Chad Aldeman asks: what if schools engage families to help make headway on student recovery efforts?
The school year had already started when test scores emerged showing deep gaps in learning. Is it too late for districts to adjust their ESSER commitments to boost recovery efforts? In this webinar we share our latest look at ESSER spending and suggest ways that districts can redirect, and in some cases refocus, their federal relief funds to respond to emerging data on what students need most.
Data-free schooling means the system can’t learn as it goes and improve on what it does. It means students aren’t getting the full value from the nation’s investment in public schooling, write Marguerite Roza and Chad Aldeman. What can be done to chip away at this data desert?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
In this webinar we look at how federal relief money is being tracked and what we're learning as a result.
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?
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.
Chad Aldeman and Marguerite Roza explain how an expansive interpretation of a new federal provision could have unintended consequences.
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.
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.
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.
In this webinar, we take the pulse on school districts' early ESSER spending plans to share some of the patterns we're seeing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this Thomas B. Fordham Institute article, Marguerite Roza warns that district leaders may be at a higher risk for accusations of financial missteps.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
During the Council of Great City School's fall conference in 2019, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and Edunomics Lab shared insights using school-by-schools spending data and a framework for engaging school leaders in leveraging dollars for the greatest outcomes possible.
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.
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 webinar, Marguerite Roza and Katie Hagan examine school-by-school expenditures in states where data are available. They share how leading states are incorporating financial transparency data in school and district report cards and discuss what can be learned from these early adopters.
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.
In this article in the National Association of State Boards of Education journal, The Standard, Marguerite Roza writes that financial transparency presents state boards of education with a timely opportunity to turn the tide on local leader training.
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.
Interstate Financial Reporting (IFR) was created by states, for states, to meet the financial data reporting requirement under ESSA—and maximize the value of their efforts. Based on a set of voluntary, minimal reporting criteria, IFR is designed to produce data that have common meaning and can be used to make valid, apples-to-apples comparisons of school-level per-pupil expenditures across states nationwide.
With ESSA requiring states to collect and report school-level per-student expenditures, state education agencies are considering setting statewide rules for assigning expenditures to the district or school level. In this brief, we map four approaches states can take and weigh benefits and considerations for each.
This downloadable tool helps states combine data from two existing federal surveys to calculate school-level per-pupil expenditures for all schools and districts in their survey files and meet the new financial transparency requirement under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
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.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires all states to collect and report per-pupil expenditures down to the school level. These four videos may help state education agencies better understand the equity implications of financial transparency as they define and tackle their own financial transparency goals.
In this brief we describe our work with 22 state education agencies to identify data readiness to meet the financial transparency reporting requirement under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and outline the inventory processes so other states can identify their own next steps to meet the 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.
In this blog and podcast, Marguerite Roza explains how a sleeper provision in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) will serve up a motherlode of new school-level financial data, offering an unprecedented opportunity to be better equipped to tackle some of education’s most pressing issues.
In 2016 we convened leading authorities to discuss the complexities of education finance in light of the new Every Student Succeeds Act. Watch Marguerite Roza’s research presentation, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s keynote, and an expert panel discussion of the shifting roles in education finance decisions.
On February 9, 2017 nearly 100 state and district leaders representing 36 states met in Washington, D.C. to explore the opportunities and work ahead to meet the financial transparency reporting requirement in ESSA. Available presentations are linked.
In this paper, we discuss how states can (and why they should) track and share school-level outcomes relative to school-level spending in their online information systems. Some schools are far more productive than others—getting better student results for less money—yet states are not yet routinely identifying such schools.
Most states make major changes in their allocation models only every two decades or so. In this paper, we explore how states can make the most of their redesign to get better outcomes for the money.