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Trends in the News

School Money and Performance

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Kansas City Star, 3/16/18

Editorial: Kansas school funding report shows link between spending and student achievement

“Kansas Lawmakers face an April 30 deadline to respond to the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling that the Legislature’s latest efforts to fund schools had fallen short. That gives them precious little time for such a complicated task as writing a new formula and then funding it. Taylor’s study…concluding that a link does indeed exist between spending and a student’s educational attainment. She said lawmakers must spend another $1.7 billion over five years to reach performance targets or an additional $2 billion to deliver enhanced educational outcomes…The analysis finds a strong, positive relationship between educational outcomes and educational costs,” Taylor concluded.

Education Week, 3/1/18

This country spends billions on private schools — and has a terrible learning gap between poor and wealthy

In practice, research shows mixed outcomes for the roughly 448,000 American students who attend private schools through taxpayer-funded programs. Some thrive, but many do not. And not all students who make use of voucher programs are low-income. Other countries have gone much further than the U.S. to subsidize their private schools. Their results are also mixed.

District Administration, 2/20/18

Report urges federal action on equitable funding for schools

The commission’s report also recommends that Congress collect, monitor and evaluate school spending data to see what funds directly impact student outcomes. While districts are already required to report school spending to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act, many still struggle with the process. “In the coming years, schools will face a much greater degree of public scrutiny, so it will be critical for local leaders to control the narrative about spending,” says Carnock.

The Hechinger Report, 1/29/18

New evidence indicates that paying teachers bonuses raises student performance by a small amount

At the end of the four years, fewer than half the districts in the study planned to continue the bonus program after the federal grant ran out. For them, three weeks wasn’t a big enough bang for the buck. Meanwhile, the federal government continues to dole out new grants for teacher bonuses.  More than $88 million was spent in fiscal 2017.

Education Week, 1/17/18

Five hurdles that keep school systems from improving

Among states that received the lowest grades in the latest Quality Counts report, the Education Week Research Center identified several common challenges. These include relatively high rates of children and parents living in poverty, limited opportunities for early learning, and struggles with producing strong academic outcomes. These states also have (and provide) limited resources and funding to their K-12 systems.

The 74, 1/9/18

The states that spend the most (and least) on education

The link between per-pupil spending and educational quality is much debated in research. Skeptics of greater spending have pointed to lackluster results from the U.S.’s titanic annual expenditures on education, but a series of recent research studies have documented learning gains and increased college attendance for students in school districts where spending had surged.

The 74, 1/2/18

12 important education storylines we’ll all be reading about in 2018

This is a quick primer of 12 groundbreaking education storylines we’ll be following in the new year, including: teachers unions, high school graduation rates, higher education debates, personalized learning, New Orlean’s next chapter, NYC’s turnaround plans, Illinois’ pension crisis and more.