Monday, February 22, 2016
More $ = gradual increases in the relative achievement of students in low-income school districts
This study reviews the impact of post-1990 school finance reforms, during the so-called "adequacy" era, on gaps in spending and achievement between high-income and low-income school districts.
The authors find that reform events--court orders and legislative reforms--lead to sharp, immediate, and sustained increases in absolute and relative spending in low-income school districts.
Using representative samples from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, they conclude that reforms cause gradual increases in the relative achievement of students in low-income school districts, consistent with the goal of improving educational opportunity for these students. The implied effect of school resources on educational achievement is large.