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Recipe for High-Impact Research

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In this blog published by IES, the Edunomics Lab team shares lessons learned about making research more useful for practitioners, including designing visualizations and other tools around user needs to make data accessible, actionable, and impactful.

The Grid: A Framework to Explore Budgeting Choices

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.

NERD$ Lessons Learned

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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 […]

A Guide for SEA-led Resource Allocation Reviews

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.

Let’s Pay Parents to Help With Learning Recovery

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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?

30-Min Webinar: Is it too late for districts to redirect ESSER commitments to tackle learning gaps?

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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.

Did public education miss the data revolution?

What data can shed light on whether recovery efforts are working? Are rates of chronic absenteeism coming down? Are students back on grade level in math? District leaders will only know to pivot if they look at the data.

Public Education Missed the Data Revolution. It’s Time to Catch Up

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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?

The scarcity mindset that plagues education news

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Education finance is a messy topic for journalists, and this last year has made it especially hard to neatly summarize the issues. at Kappan, 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?

What will MoEquity mean for district budgets?

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.

Communication Template for Principals on Use of Federal Relief Funds

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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.  

Teacher turnover, NERD$ & more

We’re excited to announce NERD$: National Education Resource Database on Schools, the first-ever national set of school-by-school spending data. Captured for research and comparisons, these data have potential to transform our understanding of ed finance.

School Spending Data: A New National Data Archive

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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.

ED Surprises SEAs with New Data Release

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

Webinar: The Changing Role of Education Finance Leadership

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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.

A Way to Get School Finances Back Under Control

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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.

Training School Leaders to Spend Wisely

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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.

Webinar: Taking Stock as SEAs Begin Releasing Per-Pupil Spending Data

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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.

Equipping School Leaders to Spend Wisely

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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.

A Checklist to Guide Data-Visualization Decisions

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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

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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.

School Level Finance Survey Converter Tool

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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.

Financial Transparency & Equity

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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.

Financial Transparency Reporting Requirement: Where to start

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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.

With New Data, School Finance Is Coming Out of the Dark Ages

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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.

New Era of School Finance

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.

Meeting the ESSA Financial Transparency Reporting Requirement

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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.

A State Information System to Support Improvements in Productivity

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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.


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