This paper presents the first results of a new series of studies on within-district spending patterns. It provides an overview of some early analysis of variations in spending among schools within three districts. What we have found has been an eye-opener, especially for those involved in the leadership of these districts. Major spending inequities exist, even in places where superintendents and school boards had intended to follow equitable policies.
We present our methods and preliminary results in succinct briefing-chart form, in hopes that citizens and policymakers, as well as researchers, will be able to read and understand them. We hope these results will cause district leaders and school activists in other localities to investigate their own spending patterns, make spending more equitable, and to focus money more effectively on improvement of instruction, especially in their most challenged schools.