Research in Progress

Upcoming Conference Papers

Baker, B.D. (2014) Evaluating the Recession’s Impact on Equity & Adequacy of State School Finance Systems. Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Philadelphia, PA. April 6, 2014 B.Baker.AERA.FiscalCollapse_4_6_14 – AERA Slides: BBaker.FiscalCollapse.Apr2014

The Great Recession’s effect on state school finance systems was unlike previous downturns in the early 1990s and early 2000s in that it a) involved a greater loss of taxable income in many states, thus greater loss to state general fund revenues, b) also involved a substantial collapse of housing markets and related reduction or at least leveling of growth of taxable property wealth, c) but also involved a substantive infusion of federal “fiscal stabilization” aid to be used to fill holes in state general aid formulas. The goal of this study is to evaluate the effects of the recession on equity of state school funding systems with respect to child poverty concentrations. Using school district level panel data from 1993 to 2011, we evaluate the interplay between local, state and federal source revenues through the course of the recent recession by comparison with the less severe economic downturn of the early 2000s. Then using state level estimates of elasticities between revenue and spending measures and district poverty rates, we estimate whether changes in the distribution of state, local or federal revenue contribute most to changes in overall equity of current spending and whether those contributions changed during the recent recession.

In the Pipeline

Baker, B.D., Libby, K., Wiley, K. Charter School Expansion & Within District Equity: Confluence or Conflict?

This article explores whether two popular policy initiatives are compatible or conflicting strategies for enhancing educational equality in demographically diverse large urban centers. These two initiatives are 1) charter school expansion and 2) improving resource equity across urban public school systems through policies often referred to as weighted student funding formulas.  In this article, we focus on New York City and Houston, two cities where districts have adopted initiatives to improve equity of the distribution of school site funding and have concurrently experienced significant expansion of charter schooling.  We find that charter schools have the tendency to both amplify the sorting of students across schools by disability, language and low income status and that charter schools’ access to financial resources varies widely. However, we find that in very large urban districts like New York City, where charter market share remains small, the overall effects of charters on system-wide inequity remain small.

Journal & Law Review Articles in the Past Few Years

  1.  Green, P.C., Baker, B.C., Oluwole, J. (in press) Having it Both Ways: How Charter Schools try to Obtain Funding of Public Schools and the Autonomy of Private Schools. Emory Law Journal
  1. Baker, B.D., Taylor, L., Chambers, J., Levin, J., Blankenship, C. (2013) Adjusted Poverty Measures and the Distribution of Title I Aid: Does Title I Really Make the Rich States Richer? Education Finance and Policy  8(3) 394-417
  2. Baker, B.D., Green, P.C., Oluwole, J. (2013) The legal consequences of mandating high stakes decisions based on low quality information: Teacher Evaluation in the Race-to-the-Top Era. Education Policy Analysis Archives
  1. Baker, B.D., Welner, K.G. (2012) Evidence and Rigor: Scrutinizing the Rhetorical Embrace of Evidence-based Decision-making. Educational Researcher 41 (3) 98-101
  2. Green, P.C., Baker, B.D., Oluwole, J. (2012) Legal implications of dismissing teachers on the basis of value-added measures based on student test scores. BYU Education and Law Journal 2012 (1)
  3. Baker, B.D. (2012) Re-arranging deck chairs in Dallas: Contextual constraints on within district resource allocation in large urban Texas school districts.  Journal of Education Finance 37 (3) 287-315


  1. Baker, B.D., Farrie, D., Sciarra, D. (2013) Is School Funding Fair? 2013 Edition. Education Law Center of New Jersey, Rutgers Graduate School of Education & Educational Testing Service
  2. Baker, B.D. (2013) Evaluating New York State’s School Finance System. New York State Association of Small City School Districts.
  3. Baker, B.D. (2013) Poverty, Children’s Health & Public School Funding: Consequences of conditioning state aid for schools on attendance. ChangeLab Solutions
  4. Coley, R., Baker, B.D. (2013) Poverty and Education: Finding the Way Forward. ETS Center for Research on Human Capital and Education. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service
  5. Baker, B.D., Bathon, J. (2013) School Finance 2.0: Crafting Responsible State Policies for the Financing of Online and Virtual Schooling. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center
  1. Baker, B.D., Corcoran, S.P.(2012) The Stealth Inequalities of School Funding: How Local Tax Systems and State Aid Formulas Undermine Equality. Washington, DC. Center for American Progress.
  2. Baker, B.D., Sciarra, D., Farrie, D. (2012) Is  School Funding Fair? Second Edition, June 2012.
  3. Baker, B.D., Libby, K., & Wiley, K. (2012). Spending by the Major Charter Management Organizations: Comparing charter school and local public district financial resources in New York, Ohio, and Texas. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date] from
  4. Clifford, M., Condon, C., Greenberg, A., Williams, R., Gerdeman, R.D., Fetters, J., and Baker, B. (2012). A descriptive analysis of the principal workforce in Wisconsin (Issues & Answers Report, REL 2012–No. 135). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest. Retrieved from
  5. Baker, B.D. (2012) Revisiting the Age Old Question: Does Money Matter in Education.  Shanker Institute.
  1. Baker, B.D., Welner, K.G. (2011) Productivity Research, the U.S. Department of Education, and High-Quality Evidence. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date] from
  2. Baker, B.D. & Ferris, R. (2011). Adding Up the Spending: Fiscal Disparities and Philanthropy among New York City Charter Schools. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date] from
  1. Baker, B.D., Farrie, D., Sciarra, D. (2010)  Is School Funding Fair? Commissioned by the Education Law Center of New Jersey in collaboration with the Ford Foundation and Educational Testing Service.
  1. Baker, B.D. (2009) Private Schooling in the U.S.: Expenditures, Supply and Policy Implications. National Education Policy Center. University of Colorado at Boulder.

Other Policy Briefs

Policy Brief on State Aid in New York (Summer 2011) NY Aid Policy Brief_Fall2011_DRAFT6

A Few Old, Hard to Find &/or Out of Print Items

Private Management of Public Schools in Baltimore (1996) eai

History of the Rising State Role in Kansas and How it Led to Embedded Inequities Rising State Role in Kansas-R2_formatted


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