Paying for School Finance Adequacy With the National Average Expenditure Per Pupil

March 2007

Allan Odden, Michael Goetz, and Lawrence Picus show that many districts have accelerated student learning by reallocating funds to emphasize targeted assistance to students, fewer non-instructional burdens on teachers, greater use of instructional technology, coaching for teachers, and class size reduction targeted on core classes only. All but the few very low-spending states could, by reallocating their current spending, pay for these changes. Though these measures are not guaranteed to work on every case or to be sufficient to raise all children to high standards, they can be sensible first steps for many localities. As the authors write, "Even districts and schools that are adequately funded may not use their resources in ways that produce the desired and possible levels of student performance."

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