Educational Economics: Where Do [$]chool Funds Go?

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Urban Institute Press, 2010 - Education - 116 pages
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Imagine if a school were to spend more per pupil on ceramics electives than core science classes. What if a district were to push more funding to wealthy neighborhoods than to impoverished ones? Such policies would provoke outrage. Yet these schools and districts are real.

Today's taxpayers spend almost $9,000 per pupil, roughly double what they spent 30 years ago, and educational achievement doesn't seem to be improving. With the movement toward holding schools and districts accountable for student outcomes, we might think that officials can precisely track how much they are spending per student, per program, per school. But considering the patchwork that is school finance--federal block funding, foundation grants, earmarks, set-asides, and union mandates--funds can easily be diverted from where they are most needed.

Educational Economics: Where Do School Funds Go? examines education finance from the school s vantage point, explaining how the varied funding streams can prevent schools from delivering academic services that mesh with their stated priorities. As government budgets shrink, linking expenditures to student outcomes will be imperative. Educational Economics offers concrete prescriptions for reform.

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When Agendas Collide
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About the author (2010)

Marguerite Roza is a research associate professor at the University of Washington's College of Education and a senior scholar at the Center on Reinventing Public Education. For over a decade, her research has focused on education spending and productivity, digging deep into education spending records to follow resources as they are deployed across schools, classrooms, and students. Much of her work traces spending patterns back to the various policy decisions that prompted them. Her analyses of fiscal policies and their implications for resources at school and classroom levels have prompted changes in education finance policy at all levels in the education system. She has written more than 40 articles and monographs in a wide variety of publications. Currently she serves as a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, at Education Sector, and at the Rockefeller Institute.

Marguerite Roza earned her Ph.D. in education from the University of Washington. Prior to that, she served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, teaching thermodynamics at the Naval Nuclear Power School. She has a B.S. from Duke University and has studied at the London School of Economics and the University of Amsterdam.

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