School Level Resource Use
Our research aims to let leaders to examine finance and spending in relation to the whole point of the schooling enterprise, namely, student outcomes. Our analyses deal in both hard numbers and the human element in schooling. Students have different needs and carry different costs. Different mixes of students attend schools that operate in different contexts, such as size, urbanicity, governance structure or community needs and/or priorities. And each school has a staff with its own mix of strengths and weaknesses. Around the country, moves are afoot to give school leaders more authority and flexibility to make spending decisions that make sense for their building’s unique context. But many school leaders aren’t getting the finance training they need to make the most of that flexibility.
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.
Education spending always involves choices, and smart choices require understanding value for the dollar. This paper uses the "would you rather" exercise to explore tradeoffs in school spending and think through the value of various cost-equivalent investments.
Resource allocation reviews (RARs) in districts that serve low-performing schools offer a new opportunity to examine the connection between resource allocation and academic outcomes. This sample data report is an example of what state leaders can assemble and share with district leaders.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This brief provides a state-by-state context by computing the dollars at stake in marginally raising the number of students per class.
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.
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.
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.