Overhaul School Finance Systems, Researchers Urge
Link Funds to Outcomes, Carefully Track Spending to Improve Achievement
Policymakers need to turn the nation’s school finance systems on their heads by connecting education dollars to student-achievement goals and outcomes, giving better information about how money is spent, and funding research that’s more closely aligned with the classroom, according to a study by top education researchers released last week.
The 39-page "Funding Student Learning" is the product of five years of work and a $6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It was researched and compiled by the 11-member National Working Group on Funding Student Learning, a team that included nine university professors, an official with a venture philanthropy that focuses on schools, and a former assistant secretary of education under the first President Bush.
“We have been faced with this daunting challenge,” said James W. Guthrie, a public policy and education professor at Vanderbilt University, referring to the increased expectations under state and federal standards-and-accountability laws. “How [do we] educate virtually every child to...
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