School Finance Prerequisites: On Liberty vs. Equality

Liberty vs. Equality A common refrain among school choice advocates is that expansion of choice through vouchers and charter schooling is the “civil rights issue of our time.”[i] That introduction of competition through choice is a tide which raises all boats! These claims infer a connection between expanding the “liberty” associated with choice and improvingContinue reading “School Finance Prerequisites: On Liberty vs. Equality”

School Finance Prerequisites: On the provision of public education

The next several posts will include what I consider to be prerequisite material for understanding state school finance systems and public education systems more broadly. Education as a Taxpayer Financed (Quasi) Public Good Let’s step back for a moment and consider broadly the provision of public goods and services through a system of taxpayer support.Continue reading “School Finance Prerequisites: On the provision of public education”

Reality Check: Innovation & Substitution in Charter & Private Schools?

Market Induced Innovations in Charter & Private Schools? A frequent critique of traditional public schools is that as bureaucratic public institutions, operating under collective bargaining agreements with politically powerful labor unions, public schools are beholden to those unions and inefficiently allocate resources into increasing numbers of unionized staff and into salaries and benefits for thoseContinue reading “Reality Check: Innovation & Substitution in Charter & Private Schools?”

Reality Check: Edupreneurs, “Tech-based Solutions” & Misguided Innovation

Elementary and secondary schooling, regardless of sector – public, publicly authorized and financed charter, or private – remains a human resource intensive industry.  Quality schooling requires sufficient numbers of sufficiently trained teachers, support staff, administrators and others to get the job done.  There must be enough of them and they must be sufficiently compensated toContinue reading “Reality Check: Edupreneurs, “Tech-based Solutions” & Misguided Innovation”

Reality Check: From Revenues to Real Resources

Basic Model: From Revenue Sources to Classroom Resources The basic model linking available revenues, schooling resources and ultimately student outcomes remains relatively simple. Setting aside federal revenue for the moment, which is about 10% of education revenue on average, Figure 12 illustrates that the amount of revenue state and local education systems tend to haveContinue reading “Reality Check: From Revenues to Real Resources”

Realty Check: Trends in School Finance

Over the next few months, I plan to share some rough drafts of forthcoming work – Here, I present a brief reality check on what is often referred to as the “long term trend” argument proving that money doesn’t matter for schools.  Here’s Bill Gates’ version of that argument: Over the past four decades, theContinue reading “Realty Check: Trends in School Finance”