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”

The Sweeny-Prieto School Aid Proposal: An Analysis

Source: The Sweeny-Prieto School Aid Proposal: An Analysis Mark Weber Doctoral Candidate Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey POLICY BRIEF: Weber_SweeneyPrieto_June26_2017 SUPPLEMENTAL FILE (Regression Output): SweeneyPrietoLog Executive Summary This brief presents an analysis of the school funding plan presented by New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, referred to hereContinue reading “The Sweeny-Prieto School Aid Proposal: An Analysis”

Public* Goods & the Money Belongs to the Child Fallacy (in tweets)

Challenging “dollars belong to the child, not the system” argument. (Tax)$$ provided by society to serve pub interest 1/ #publicgoodsmatter — Bruce Baker (@SchlFinance101) December 23, 2016 // Society (Tax $$) provides for the mix of public goods and services that make for a “better” society 2/ #publicgoodsmatter — Bruce Baker (@SchlFinance101) December 23, 2016Continue reading “Public* Goods & the Money Belongs to the Child Fallacy (in tweets)”

Thoughts on Junk Indicators, School Rating Systems & Accountability

Over the past few years, co-authors Preston Green and Joseph Oluwole and I have written a few articles on the use, misuse and abuse of student growth metrics for evaluating teachers and for imposing employment consequences based on those metrics. Neither of our previous articles addressed the use of even more nonsensical status and statusContinue reading “Thoughts on Junk Indicators, School Rating Systems & Accountability”

The Charter School Company Store

About a year ago, I released this report: In which Gary Miron and I discuss various methods by which charter school operators work largely within existing policy constraints, to achieve financial gain. While working on this report, I explored various other topics that did not make the final cut, in part because I wasContinue reading “The Charter School Company Store”

On the Relative Efficiency of New Jersey Public School Districts

Originally posted on New Jersey Education Policy Forum:
PDF of Brief: Baker.Weber.NJEfficiency_8_2_16 Bruce D. Baker Mark Weber Contrary to current political rhetoric, New Jersey’s least efficient producers of student achievement gains are not the state’s large former Abbott districts – largely poor urban districts that benefited most in terms of state aid increases resulting from…