Policy Factsheet

School Funding

Reasons for Policy

  • Low-income students consistently fall behind high-income students in academic areas, such as test scores, graduation rates, and college enrollment.2
  • Findings show that an increase in funding for low-income school districts can substantially benefit children in those areas.2
  • Studies show that although increases in funding have occurred, only 25% of those funds have been used on regular instruction.2

Community Groups

  • Local Government
  • Local School District
  • State Government

Policy Components

  • Have a low-income weight of 110-159% in educational funding equations (i.e. 2-2.5 times the cost for students who are not low-income)
  • Use additional funds to establish/enhance programs that have been shown to improve achievement (e.g. class-size reduction, teacher training and education, recruitment and hiring of high-quality teachers, and early childhood education)

Desired Outcomes

  • Improved achievement and standardized test scores
  • Improved achievement in reading and math
  • Improved graduation rates
  • Improved college enrollment rates

For all policies we describe on this website, we have applied the Standards of Evidence as defined by Flay et al. (2005) in the Standards of Evidence document published by Prevention Science. 1

The levels of effectiveness as noted are: 1 = meets criteria for policy effectiveness (consistent, positive outcomes from at least two high-quality experimental or quasi-experimental trials using a comparison group or interrupted time series design); 2 = consistent evidence available linking policy with positive outcomes from high-quality observational studies only; 3 = insufficient evidence available for policy or policy components.

Level of Evidence Available to Evaluate Effectiveness of Policy

For all policies we describe on this website, we have applied the Standards of Evidence as defined by Flay et al. (2005) in the Standards of Evidence document published by Prevention Science.

The effectiveness level of this policy is 2: Policies with Consistent Evidence from High-Quality Observational Studies.

The levels of effectiveness as noted are:

  1. meets criteria for policy effectiveness (consistent, positive outcomes from at least two high-quality experimental or quasi-experimental trials using a comparison group or interrupted time series design);
  2. consistent evidence available linking policy with positive outcomes from high-quality observational studies only;
  3. insufficient evidence available for policy or policy components.

Achievable Results

On average, a $500 (10% of the national average) increase in per pupil expenditure can achieve:

  • Large improvements student academic achievement (Effect Size: 0.70). 3 However, results should be interpreted with caution, as most studies have been cross-sectional.

Community Examples

Links to Policy Examples

Be sure to check with your state, county, and municipal governments regarding potential existing laws that may impede any new policy development.

References


  1. Flay, BR, Biglan, A, Boruch, RF, Ganzalez Castro, F, Gottfredson, D, Kellam, S, Moscicki, EK, Schinke, S, Valentine, JC, & Ji, P (2005). Standards of evidence: Criteria for efficacy, effectiveness and dissemination. Prevention Science, 6(3), 151-175.  

  2. Carey K (2002). Education funding and low-income children: A review of current research. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  

  3. Hedges LV, Laine RD, Greenwald R (1994). An exchange: Part I: Does money matter? A meta-analysis of studies of the effects of differential school inputs on student outcomes. Educational Researcher, 23(3), 5-14.