The current economic climate and increasing demands to improve public education require responses rooted in concrete analytics and sustainable, innovative modeling. The Rapid Response paper series is designed to share single topic analysis related to current finance policy issues.
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.
30-Min Webinar: Make it or break it! This spring’s district budget choices matter tremendously for the years ahead.
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.
The Massive ESSER Experiment: Here’s what we’re learning.
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.
Districts face deep financial pain in the next two years. Decisions made this spring will determine how it all plays out.
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.
The Stakes Are Only Getting Higher For Pandemic School Aid Spending
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.
ELab-U: Smart Money for School Leaders
Smart Money for School Leaders is a collection of education finance instructional modules developed by Edunomics Lab, Georgetown University designed to provide hands-on finance skills for school leaders.
Federal Data: Schools Have Been Adding Teachers Even As They Serve Fewer Students
For schools to improve their services and respond to student needs, it’s important to be precise about the exact staffing challenges they face, writes Chad Aldeman at The 74.
Let’s Pay Parents to Help With Learning Recovery
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?
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.
Time to Change the District Budget Dance
Getting maximum value from available dollars is imperative, and may require some changes to the traditional budget process, writes Marguerite Roza in School Business Affairs Magazine.
Why Are Fewer People Becoming Teachers?
What caused the decline in teacher-preparation enrollments and completions? Until we diagnose the problem accurately, we won’t be able to devise solutions to fix it, writes Chad Aldeman in Education Next.
Public Education Missed the Data Revolution. It’s Time to Catch Up
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?
On a Per-Student Basis, School Staffing Levels Are Hitting All-Time Highs
Schools in 46 states effectively lowered their teacher-student ratios by continuing to hire while enrollment has dropped, writes Chad Aldeman at The 74.
Financial Innovations During COVID Show Schools Can Be Nimble When They Have To
When districts break out of deeply ingrained expenditure habits, it's a big deal. Roza & Silberstein share four financial practices that emerged during the pandemic that we hope will last.
4 Ways State Leaders Can Lower Teacher Pension Costs
State and district leaders could simultaneously reduce retirement costs and improve benefits for teachers, writes Chad Aldeman.
What Goes Wrong When Some School Board Members Don’t Understand District Finances?
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.
30-Min Webinar: The financial forecast is in! School district budgets are headed for a wild ride.
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.
ESSER is fueling one-size-fits-all strategies. Let’s use data to deliver more targeted efforts.
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.
30-Min Webinar: How can districts measure learning loss recovery costs?
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.
New Learning Loss Calculator Estimates COVID Slide, Costs of Catching Kids Up, in 8,000 School Districts
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.
Opinion: The N.Y. Legislature’s big class size mistake
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.
What Are Districts Using Their Federal Relief Money for? How Fast Are They Spending It? How Much Is Left? New Interactive Database Has Answers
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.
Inflation Will Put Districts in a Pickle
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.
ESSER Spending: Connecting Investments and Outcomes
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.
Responding to a Tight Teacher Labor Market
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.
Opinion: Pause HISD’s plan to centralize school funding
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.
A year ago, school districts got a windfall of pandemic aid. How’s that going?
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.
Universities aren’t teaching the finance skills that K-12 leaders need
Marguerite Roza explores the gap in financial training for aspiring K-12 education leaders and suggests ways that higher education can improve its offerings.
Talking about ESSER: Ways to Build Community Trust and Keep the Focus on Results for Students
Laura Anderson and Marguerite Roza map six ways district leaders can communicate about and help make the most of their ESSER investments.
Marguerite Roza discusses how school districts should use federal COVID-19 relief funds to improve student outcomes
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.
Punishment for Making Hard Choices in a Crisis: Federal Prison
In this Education Next commentary, Marguerite Roza explains why every education leader should care about what happened to Julia Keleher.
Setting Student Progress as a North Star Would Be a Game Changer
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.
Do Districts Using Weighted Student Funding Formulas Deliver More Dollars to Low-Income Students?
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.
Leading Thoughtful Conversations on Resource Equity Using School-By-School Spending Data
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.
Building Financial Leadership To Do More for Students: Lessons from a Landscape Analysis of Education Finance Curriculum in Higher Ed
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
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.
Focus On Student Outcomes, Not How Federal Funds Are Spent
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.
Ed Finance-Related Datasets: Key Features and Limitations
A list of datasets commonly used in education research and practice focused primarily on finance-related data.
30-Min Webinar: Will We Ever Know How ESSER Is Being Spent?
In this webinar we look at how federal relief money is being tracked and what we're learning as a result.
How COVID-19 Ushered in a Wave of Promising Teacher Pay Reforms
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.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Spending COVID-Relief Funds
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.
An Idea For This Moment: Districts Can Pay Families To Help Get Students And Schools Back On Track
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.
Ed Finance Guru Marguerite Roza on How Schools Can Best Spend Covid Aid
In an interview with Rick Hess, Marguerite Roza shares her take on how school district leaders can spend COVID-19 aid wisely and well.
The scarcity mindset that plagues education news
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?
Decrease in Student Enrollment: Forcing Tough Decisions
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 down. Funding is up. Wait, wut?
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.
Existing Federal Provisions Can – If Given Appropriate Attention – Advance Within-District Financial Equity
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.
Fewer students are attending public schools. What does that mean for the future of school district finances?
This analysis compares the amount of money school districts will receive from the two largest federal COVID relief packages (ESSER II and III) versus their projected budgetary declines due to enrollment losses.
There’s a fiscal cliff coming, and some districts appear hell-bent on making it worse
Districts are right to worry about a fiscal cliff when federal relief aid runs out, cautions Marguerite Roza, but leaders have options beyond handwringing.
From Paying Parents to Transport Their Kids to School to Calling Out the National Guard — Innovating in the Face of a Bus Driver Shortage
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.
Districts Like San Diego Could Be Locking Themselves Into Painful Cuts Down the Road
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.
Maintenance of Equity: A New Provision with Big Implications for District Budgeting
Chad Aldeman and Marguerite Roza explain how an expansive interpretation of a new federal provision could have unintended consequences.
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.
Wise Spending of Your Federal Relief Funds
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.
5 Ways Principals Can Make Federal Relief Money Matter More For Their 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.
Communication Template for Principals on Use of Federal Relief Funds
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.
Will the American Rescue Plan’s ‘Meaningful Consultation’ Requirement Usher in Community Participation in School Budgets?
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.
Congress Provided Billions To Schools. Will Districts Spend It Creatively?
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.
Smart ways to cover the coming ‘year of ed finance’
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.
Early Analysis of State ARP Plans
Using a financial lens, the Edunomics Lab team offers an early analysis of state education agency plans for using ARP funds.
Let Schools, Not District Offices, Decide How to Spend Some Federal Aid
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.
Teacher Dissatisfaction May Be High, But So Are Retention Rates
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.
Billions of Federal Funds Are Coming to Schools. How Should They Spend Them?
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?
30-Min Webinar: Federal Funds Are Flowing! What We’re Finding
In this webinar, we take the pulse on school districts' early ESSER spending plans to share some of the patterns we're seeing.
By Paying Stipends to Schools’ Teaching Staff, Districts Can Add Learning Time Without Breaking the Bank
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.
Best- and worst-case scenarios for how school stimulus dollars will be spent
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.
With federal relief dollars on the way, districts face big decisions
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.
Desired Features of a State Funding System
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.
A way to ease student loan debt without sticking taxpayers with the bill: How about a trade?
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.
30-Min Webinar: Teacher Labor Market Trends and What They Mean For District Budgets
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.
Remote or in Person? Underspending or Running Deficits? What School Reopening Decisions Mean for District Budgets
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.
30-Min Webinar: Open Or Remote? What It Means For School District Budgets
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.
During the pandemic, lost education jobs aren’t what they seem
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.
Proceed with caution: With enrollment drops, states are looking to hold district budgets harmless
In this brief, Hannah Jarmolowski and Marguerite Roza outline what states need to weigh when it comes to hold harmless provisions.
Lessons from Spanish Flu — Babies Born in 1919 Had Worse Educational, Life Outcomes Than Those Born Just Before or After. Could That Happen With COVID-19?
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.
School Spending Data: A New National Data Archive
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.
30-Min Webinar: Impacts of Enrollment Shifts and Learning Loss on District Finances
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: The New Federal Aid Package
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.
Financial Leadership: Meeting This Moment
This article in School Business Affairs magazine illuminates the critical need to develop district leaders' strategic finance skills.
School Finance for Equity and Innovation
On December 9, 2020 Marguerite Roza participated in California Charter Schools Association's 2020 Education Symposium. She discussed leveraging data to lead efforts to improve equity and productivity, and how leaders can enable systems to navigate the financial turmoil ahead.
Variation Is the Norm: A Landscape Analysis of Weighted Student Funding Implementation
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.
How Federal Education Aid Can Tackle The K-Shaped Learning Recovery: Let’s start with $3000 Per Disengaged Student.
In this op-ed, Marguerite Roza proposes a separate, flexible sum targeted at helping students for whom pandemic schooling isn't working.
Analysis: California Gives Districts Extra Money for Highest-Needs Students. But It Doesn’t Always Get to the Highest-Needs Schools
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.
Use caution, district leaders: Even in a pandemic, there’s no immunity from financial missteps
In this Thomas B. Fordham Institute article, Marguerite Roza warns that district leaders may be at a higher risk for accusations of financial missteps.
Lessons Learned: Weighted Student Funding
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.
Spending patterns, equity and achievement in districts using weighted student funding
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?"
Taking Stock of Principals’ Role in Weighted Student Funding Districts
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.
ED Surprises SEAs with New Data Release
In this blog, Marguerite Roza discusses efforts to make new school-by-school spending data easier to find, interpret, and use.
When it Comes to School Funds, Hold-Harmless Provisions Aren’t “Harmless”
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.
Analysis: Pandemic-Fueled Financial Turbulence Is Hitting School Districts Across the Country. Here’s What to Watch for
In this analysis, Marguerite Roza and Katie Silberstein discuss how districts across the country have been making budget decisions in the midst of the pandemic and evolving reopening scenarios.
A Moment of (Early) Truth: Taking Stock of School-by-School Spending Data
This brief offers first-cut answers to early concerns and newly emerging questions about new state reporting of per-pupil spending data.
Financial uncertainty requires leaders to make tough choices and stay focused on students
In this invited commentary for The 74, Marguerite Roza and Katie Silberstein discuss how keeping students at the center of decision-making can help leaders make tough choices amid competing pressures.
30-Min Webinar: Updated Financials, and State and District Responses
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.
The financial landscape and what it means for public education
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.
Straight Talk In Financially Uncertain Times: How District Leaders Can Communicate About The Messy Financial Landscape Coming Their Way
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.
How Lawmakers Can Raise Teacher Pay Without Decimating Pension Funds
In this op-ed, Marguerite Roza analyzes how making any near-term teacher raises non-pensionable could impact state governments and K-12 teachers and students.
Could states save money if raises during a recession were designated as non-pensionable?
This brief examines how making raises non-pensionable would impact teacher pensions and government pension debt.
Waiting for Congress to Bail Out Schools Is a Risky Game of Chicken. Time for Districts to Come Up With Plan B — and for States to Help
In this commentary published by The 74, Marguerite Roza worries that a $200 billion ask for a federal bailout for schools seems to be an incomplete strategy, and argues that districts need to work now on the cost side of the equation as well.
A free college plan that pays for itself
In this op ed published by The Hill, Marguerite Roza proposes a way for the federal government to pay for college without boosting federal debt or burdening taxpayers.
What Role Should the Federal Government Play in Addressing State and Municipal Pension Debts?
In this guest blog post, Marguerite Roza shares how the federal government might address state and municipal pension debt in the midst of budget shortfalls due to COVID-19.
New Financial Data Spotlight the District Role in Distributing Dollars Across Schools
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.
Webinar: Financial Turmoil for Public Education: Projections, stimulus, and what superintendents and principals can expect
Webinar with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, on what the financial turmoil will mean for public education and what superintendents and principals should expect.
How the coronavirus shutdown will affect school district revenues
In this Brookings Chalkboard blog, Marguerite Roza discusses what a larger state role in education funding means for districts during an economic downturn.
30-Min Webinar: Projections, Stimulus, and Typical District Actions
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: What Will the Financial Turmoil Mean for Public Education?
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.
How States Can Put Students at the Center of Their School Funding Formulas
In this Hunt Institute "Making Sense of NC School Funding" blog, Marguerite Roza provides a national perspective on how states approach school funding.
The Big Bet on Adding Staff to Improve Schools Is Breaking the Bank
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.
Edunomics Lab against the tide: Yes, eliminate CRDC finance elements
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.
One Reason Millennials Might Say “OK Boomer” This Holiday Season
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 Teachers Nearing Retirement Paid a Big Price in Striking
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.
Leaders Ignored Teacher Pension Debt. Now There’s Less Money for Teacher Salaries and Students
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.
Engaging principals in school-level financial data to boost student achievement
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.
Chicago’s Teachers Union Agreed to Give Spending Control to Principals. Now, the Union Is Striking to Take It Away
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.
The “Would You Rather?” Test
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.
Funding for Students’ Sake: How to Stop Financing Tomorrow’s Schools Based on Yesterday’s Priorities
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.
Webinar: The Changing Role of Education Finance Leadership
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
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
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.
Understanding school finance is one thing. Being effective in communicating about it is another skill entirely
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.
L.A. District Is Asking for a $500 Million Parcel Tax. In Return, Let the Schools Decide How to Spend Their New Funds
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.
Weighted Student Funding Is On The Rise. Here’s What We Are Learning
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.
Webinar: Taking Stock as SEAs Begin Releasing Per-Pupil Spending Data
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.
DeVos Proposed $50 Million for Districts to Decentralize Federal Money, to Put Schools in the Driver’s Seat. It’s a Smart Idea
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
New Education Department guidance on supplement-not-supplant: Sorry not sorry
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.
Dear districts: These are the glory days. Are you ready for tomorrow’s financial pain?
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.
Webinar: An Introduction to Student-Based Allocation
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.
Equipping School Leaders to Spend Wisely
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
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
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.
Taking stock of California’s weighted student funding overhaul: What have districts done with their spending flexibility?
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.
Did districts concentrate new state money on highest-needs schools? Answer: Depends on the district.
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.
California’s weighted student funding formula: Does it help money matter more?
As California’s LCFF enters Year 5 of implementation, this brief analyzes whether we are seeing an improved relationship between spending and outcomes.
Funding Student Types: How states can mine their own data to guide finance policy on high-needs students
To help states design effective funding policies to serve high-needs students, this brief by Marguerite Roza helps states ask the right questions, tap their own data, and analyze funding in relation to student outcomes.
Analyzing early impacts of California’s Local Control Funding Formula
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.
College credit in high school: Doing the math on costs
Many policymakers see providing college credit in high school as a money saver, but little research has examined that belief. This brief helps fill the gap, investigating in three states the costs of taking college classes in high school compared to attaining credit after high school.
Student Based Allocation District Collaborative Meeting
Edunomics Lab hosts a monthly virtual meeting of district finance leaders to share knowledge and solve challenges around student-based allocation practice and collectively produce research that districts need and want. These resources are from an in-person convening of the SBA Network plus other districts interested in learning more.
Four Approaches to Assigning Costs to Central Levels vs. School Levels When Calculating Per-Pupil Expenditures
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.
School Level Finance Survey Converter Tool
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.
Webinar: What does the ESSA financial transparency requirement mean for districts?
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.
Financial Transparency & Equity
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
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.
School-level spending: Financial transparency coming to every community in 2018
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.
The Productivity Opportunity: A Role-Playing Activity to Engage Leaders in Financial and Outcomes Data
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.
With New Data, School Finance Is Coming Out of the Dark Ages
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.
Productivity Improvements Paper Series
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.
The Equity Problem in Teacher Pensions
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.
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.
Are public universities neglecting in-state students?
Marguerite Roza responds to an online “Room for Debate” conversation hosted by the New York Times, arguing that chasing after nonresident students threatens the very nature of public universities as institutions that serve the state.
Productivity is sometimes seen as a dirty word in education
This article explores how school systems can improve productivity even when so much of what matters—the human variables and relationships in student learning—can’t be centrally managed and scaled across schools.
The Productivity of Rural Schools
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."
Advancing System Productivity Webinar Series
Edunomics Lab, in partnership with Council of Chief State School Officers and the Building State Capacity and Productivity Center, convened a Community of Practice to support a group of leaders in all states interested in developing a state-specific framework and strategy set related to the SEA’s role in increasing productivity. This series of five webinars is designed to help Regional Comprehensive Centers support state education agency (SEA) leaders as they explore how they can better support districts and schools to operate in a more productive way.
Meeting the ESSA Financial Transparency Reporting Requirement
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.
The Smart Money: Designing a school budget to get the most for your school dollar
In this hands-on workshop presented at NAIS national conference in March 2017 school leaders dove into the math of school resource allocation. Dr. Roza shared innovative financial strategies and how leaders could apply the concepts to their own school context.
Breaking tradition: A fixed-dollar pay raise strategy that benefits teachers and school districts
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.
Highly Productive Rural Districts: What is the Secret Sauce?
In this paper we identify some common themes that makes some remote rural districts “productivity superstars” and describe steps states can take to encourage and support district productivity.
How the teacher pay raise formula could worsen Seattle’s inequity
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.
Promoting Productivity: Lessons from Rural Schools
In this essay addresses the assumption that rural districts are less productive than their urban or suburban peers by discussing rural districts can “beat the odds” by increasing student results without increasing per-pupil expenditures.
Turning a Benefits Conundrum into a Potential Opportunity for Teachers and Students
This analysis shows how a longer work year could increase teachers’ annual salaries and improve student outcomes.
Teachers’ Pensions and the Overgrazed Commons
Commentary by Marguerite Roza and Michael Podgursky on how big raises to teachers nearing retirement is a recipe for letting pension debt get out of control.
Is spending more on education the best way to improve schools and teaching?
Marguerite Roza's response to the NY Times Room for Debate question ~ Is spending more on education the best way to improve schools and teaching?
Title I: Time to Get It Right
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.
Paying the Best Teachers More to Teach More Students
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.
Innovation Amid Financial Scarcity: The Opportunity in Rural Schools
In this paper we explore spending and outcomes data of rural schools and highlight policy implications for states seeking improved outcomes for all their districts in the context of limited resources.
The Phantom Menace: Policies that Protect Districts from Declining or Low Enrollments, Drive Up Spending and Inhibit Adaptation
This paper examines the practice of states funding school districts for students who do not attend school there. Aimed at “protecting” districts from enrollment fluctuations, the practice drives up spending and inhibits adaptation.
Student Based Allocation 101
This one-page infographic explains what student-based allocation is, how it differs from traditional funding formulas and what its primary benefits are.
How Late-Career Raises Drive Teacher-Pension Debt
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.
Can decentralization improve Seattle schools?
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.
The Real Deal on K-12 Staffing
This analysis finds that staffing ratios across K-12 education have risen precipitously over several decades and, despite the impact of the Great Recession, remain at 2004 levels. A state-by-state comparison reveals large disparities across states.
Building SEA Productivity
In this presentation state education chiefs heard about a basic framework for leading the productivity challenge that includes building a productivity data infrastructure, prioritizing flexibility, aligning funds with students, incentivizing innovation, and leading the change.
Denver Public Schools: Making More Money Follow Students
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.
What Portion of District Funds Follow Students?
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.
Boston Public Schools: Weighting What Matters
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.
A State Information System to Support Improvements in Productivity
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.
Funding for Student’s Sake: How to Stop Financing Tomorrow’s Schools Based on Today’s Priorities
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.
SEA of the Future: Building the Productivity Infrastructure
This publication introduces the “productivity infrastructure" the building blocks for an SEA committed to supporting productivity, innovation, and performance—from the state chief to the classroom.
Webinar: Training Principals for Budgeting at the School Level
In this webinar and presentation, we share seven key steps for principals to customize their use of resources based on student outcomes goals and needs. This includes concrete budget strategies and hands-on exercises to help principals understand and weigh cost and tradeoff scenarios.
How much money follows the student in WSF (aka SBA) districts?
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.
Rethinking Class Size to Expand Access to Best Teachers and Raise Pay
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.
Civic Vitality and Public Education Productivity: The Harbormaster Mayor
In this brief, we argue that mayors, as the person responsible for a municipality’s overall well-being, are uniquely positioned to identify and promote productive school models and advocate for all students, regardless of what type of school they attend.
Webinar: Building a State Information System to Support Improvements in Productivity
On February 26, 2016 Marguerite Roza conducted a webinar for state education agency leaders. This webinar explored how SEAs can build an information system designed to drive productivity – what data are needed, how to compile the data into useful resources for leaders at every level of education and how these stakeholders can use the data to drive decision making and advance productivity.
Taking Off the Heat
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.
VisionSBA: K-12 Financial Modeling Tool
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?”
Options for NY State in an Era of Constrained Resources
At a public symposium of the NY Education Reform Commission, Marguerite Roza presented on "Maximizing Resources for Student and School Success."
The SEA of the Future: Prioritizing Productivity
In this volume of The SEA of the Future, Marguerite Roza co-authored two essays examining how state leaders, challenged with having to make decisions on how to use limited resources, are faced with an uneasy zero-sum game: every dollar they put into one program is a dollar not spent in another.
Teacher Retirement Benefits: Defining a More Active Role for SEAs and Their Chiefs
In this essay from The SEA of the Future Volume 2, Marguerite Roza and Michael Podgursky look in depth at the startling long-term costs of educator pension systems and the counterproductive employment incentives embedded in these systems.
Leveraging Productivity for Progress: An Imperative for States
In this essay published in The SEA of the Future Volume 2, Marguerite Roza makes the case for why productivity is essential to improving outcomes for students.
The Case Against High School Sports
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 High Price of Excess Credits
This brief examines the cost of extra credits earned by students in California, Georgia, and New York, and opportunities for state and university leaders to maximize degree attainment with constrained resources.
More Students, More Degrees, More Dollars
Cuts to state support for higher education have prompted some universities to raise tuition, admit more out-of-state students, and increase enrollment to close budget gaps. This analysis compares these three strategies in public flagship universities, first in terms of the relative magnitude needed to close a gap in state funds, and then in terms of the extent to which they contribute to degree production for students in their state.
Funding Phantom Students
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.
How Current Education Governance Distorts Financial Decisionmaking
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.
Student-Based Allocation to Enable School Choice
This brief explains the need for student-based allocation to enable student choice and portable funding across schools within districts.
Innovating Toward Sustainability: How Computer Labs Can Enable New Staffing Structures, and New Savings
Using wage and staffing data from states, authors project the financial and staffing implications of one innovative school model (the Rocketship lab rotation) to highlight potential impacts on the schooling workforce and total per-student spending.
Are Residents Losing Their Edge in Public University Admissions? The Case at the University of Washington
This brief examines admissions data at the University of Washington to in order to quantify the effect on admissions standards for residents versus nonresidents, who typically pay higher tuitions.
What Happens to Teacher Salaries During a Recession?
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.
The Opportunity Cost of Smaller Classes: A State-By-State Spending Analysis
This brief provides a state-by-state context by computing the dollars at stake in marginally raising the number of students per class.
Q&A on the Chicago Teachers Contract Math
This brief examines the real numbers on the Chicago teachers contract costs.
Chicago Teacher Salaries in the Regional Chicago Context
This brief examines how Chicago teacher salaries compare in regional and national contexts.
The Sheepskin Effect and Student Achievement: De-emphasizing the Role of Master’s Degrees in Teacher Compensation
This brief dissects the nation’s sizable investment in master’s bumps as a means of highlighting policy obstacles to a more smartly differentiated compensation approach.
Rethinking State Education Finance Toward Greater Productivity
This presentation framed how state legislators might think differently about their investment in education to maximize scarce state dollars and improve student achievement.
Stretching the School Dollar: A Brief for State Policymakers
This policy brief lists fifteen concrete ways that states can “stretch the school dollar” in these difficult financial times.
The Promise of Cafeteria-Style Benefits for Districts and Teachers
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.
Washington State High Schools Pay Less for Math and Science Teachers than for Teachers in Other Subjects
This paper examines the reasons why math and science teachers struggle to reach the same salaries as others, concluding that the state-wide salary schedule is in part to blame.
Curing Baumol’s Disease: In Search of Productivity Gains in Public Education
The authors discuss several areas in which labor-intensive businesses have improved productivity, but are absent in education. They conclude with a five-step agenda for finding the cure for Baumol’s disease in public education.
A False Dilemma: Should Decisions About Education Resource Use Be Made at the State or Local Level?
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?”
Breaking Down School Budgets: Following the Dollars into the Classroom
This analysis examines ways in which per-pupil spending in high schools varies by subject and course level, and demonstrates how isolating spending on discrete services can have a variety of benefits.
The Disproportionate Impact of Seniority-Based Layoffs on Poor, Minority Students
A study of California's 15 largest districts indicates that "last in, first out" policies disproportionately affect the programs and students in their poorer and more minority schools than in their wealthier, less minority counterparts.
Educational Economics: Where Do School Funds Go?
This book explains how varied funding streams can prevent schools from delivering academic services that mesh with their stated priorities and offers concrete prescriptions for reform.
K–12 Job Trends Amidst Stimulus Funds: Early Findings
This brief explores trends in K–12 education jobs—those funded through the stimulus and by other means—to answer the question of what role ARRA played in overall education employment.
Beyond Teacher Reassignments: Better Ways Districts Can Remedy Salary Inequities Across Schools
This brief demonstrates how, contrary to common worry, closing Title I's "comparability provision" loophole would not force districts to mandatorily reassign teachers.
Have States Disproportionately Cut Education Budgets During ARRA? Early Findings
This analysis explores how state education spending has changed or will change given the application of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, a policy intended to stabilize state budgets and avert cuts to education.
Now is a Great Time to Compute the Per-Unit Cost of Everything in Education
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.
Seniority-Based Layoffs Will Exacerbate Job Loss in Public Education
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.
What is the Sum of the Parts? How Federal, State, and District Funding Streams Confound Efforts to Address Different Student Types
The authors demonstrate in greater detail than ever before how America’s methods of school finance work against a single-minded focus on student learning.
Understanding Student-Weighted Allocation as a Means to Greater School Resource Equity
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.
How Districts Shortchange Low-Income and Minority Students
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.
Pennywise and Pound Foolish in Education
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.
A Cost Allocation Model for Shared District Resources: A Means for Comparing Spending Across Schools
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.
Leveling the Playing Field: Creating Funding Equity Through Student-Based Budgeting
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.
Reading District Budget Packets
This activity guides participants through reading and understanding district budgets.