ERIC Number: ED399630
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-May
How Money Matters to School Performance: Four Points Policymakers Should Know.
Education researchers have moved beyond asking whether money matters to school performance. They are now investigating how money matters to student learning and achievement. There are three questions that policymakers and citizens must address: How much money are they willing to spend on the education of the young? How should it be fairly spent? How should it be wisely spent? This document summarizes research on the spending patterns of schools and the money-performance link. It identifies four points that policymakers should know. First, money is related to student learning outcomes, but the dynamics of human learning mean that there is no one-to-one correlation. Second, school districts spend their money in remarkably consistent proportions, regardless of their wealth, and the bulk goes to instructional services. However, there are large differences in wealth and student need across schools and districts that strongly affect performance. Third, money also matters by maximizing a wide range of opportunities to learn. New knowledge about teaching and learning points to the importance of strategic investments as well as funding "the basics," if more children are to learn and perform at high levels. Finally, after three decades of modest equalization efforts by the states, reliance on local funding of schools is now rising, just as income inequality among communities is growing. Poor children are hardest hit. The appendix outlines the evolution of "equal educational opportunity" as a legal concept. (Contains 52 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Northwest Regional Educational Lab., Portland, OR.