The Collapse of State School Finance Systems & Why It Matters

“We are not going to redeem our public education system – achieve “college readiness” for all and crush those common standards in a system which we choose to fund in this way.”

Fund public schools, people. Pause high-stakes testing because it is only taking away from teaching time and costing a lot of money. Let teachers teach.

School Finance 101

This post is a follow up to my recent post identifying America’s Most Financially Disadvantaged School Districts.

Let me start by summarizing the why it matters part, which I address more thoroughly here. The bottom line – a substantial body of empirical research indicates the positive influence of state school finance reforms on student outcomes. As explained in the post linked above:

To summarize, there exist no methodologically competent analyses yielding convincing evidence that significant and sustained funding increases provide no educational benefits, and a relative few which do not show decisively positive effects.[xvii] On balance, it is safe to say that a sizeable and growing body of rigorous empirical literature validates that state school finance reforms can have substantive, positive effects on student outcomes, including reductions in outcome disparities or increases in overall outcome levels.[xviii]

Several state specific longitudinal studies discussed in that post have shown positive…

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