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ERIC Number: ED509499
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep-8
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Does Spending More on Education Improve Academic Achievement? Backgrounder. No. 2179
Lips, Dan; Watkins, Shanea J.; Fleming, John
Heritage Foundation
Debates about how to improve public education in America often focus on whether government should spend more on education. Federal and state policymakers proposing new education programs often base their arguments on the need to provide more resources to schools to improve opportunities for students. Many Americans seem to share this view. While this view may be commonly held, policymakers and citizens should question whether historical evidence and academic research actually support it. This paper addresses two important questions: (1) How much does the United States spend on public education?; (2) What does the evidence show about the relationship between public education spending and students' academic achievement? The answers to these questions should inform federal and state policy debates about how best to improve education. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia face budget shortfalls totaling approximately $48 billion for fiscal year 2009. Even more states could face shortfalls in the near future. At the federal level, long-term budgets face a challenging fiscal climate. Projected growth of entitlement programs is expected to place an ever-increasing burden on the federal budget, limiting the resources available for other purposes, including education. Simply increasing government spending on education may no longer be a viable option for federal and state policymakers. Furthermore, as this paper demonstrates, simply increasing education spending does not appear to improve American students' academic achievement. To improve learning opportunities for American children, policymakers should refocus on allocating resources more efficiently and effectively. Appendices include: (1) Historical Per-Pupil Expenditures on K-12 Public Education, by State; and (2) 4th, 8th, and 12th Grade NAEP Math and Reading Scores by Race. (Contains 24 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Heritage Foundation
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress