ERIC Number: ED356527
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Nov
Funding Schools and Universities: Improving Productivity and Equity.
Odden, Allan; Massy, William
This report discusses trends in education funding over a 40-year period (1950-1990); describes how education dollars are spent; identifies reasons for increases in the cost of education; and offers some observations on the education productivity problem. It also addresses equity issues at both K-12 and postsecondary levels and suggests ways to improve educational outcomes, productivity, and equity. Contrary to public perception, funding for elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities has generally increased by substantial margins over the last 40 years. Few if any indicators of student achievement or educational quality has increased at the same rate as funding. The causes of this productivity decline include: (1) the "cost-disease" in labor-intensive activities where costs increase while output is fixed; (2) the "growth force" pressures that attempt quality improvements by service expansion coupled with unavoidable salary and benefit costs; (3) the "administrative lattice" problem of disproportionate increases in administrator and staff pools relative to teachers; and (4) the "academic ratcheting" of classroom norms such as size, planning time, and physical amenities that substantially increase resource demands. To improve their use of resources, elementary and secondary schools should focus closely on outcomes, teacher compensation, decentralizing management practices, and transferring funding to individual schools. To achieve productivity gains, higher education should refocus and prioritize institutional missions. This process relies on enhancing administrative output and decentralizing management authority to departments. Significant changes are needed to improve the productivity and equity of the American educational system. Contains 102 references. (TEJ)
Descriptors: Compensation (Remuneration), Cost Effectiveness, Educational Quality, Efficiency, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Financial Exigency, Financial Support, Higher Education, Outcomes of Education, Productivity, Resource Allocation, Universities
Consortium for Policy Research in Education, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ 08901-1568 ($10).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, New Brunswick, NJ.