When you tell a room full of more than 40 superintendents that money matters in public education, you would be, what they call, “preaching to the choir.” But when you show school administrators the cyclical effects of revenue at the state and local levels and the impact it has on shaping school funding realities, you have their attention.
At the annual AASA Federal Relations Luncheon at the association’s national conference in Los Angeles, attendees enjoyed their Valentine’s Day lunch with a side of school finance. Bruce Baker a professor at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, indulged attendees by busting money myths and sharing actual long-term national trends and cycles.
While there are fabulous charts and graphs that readers can find throughout Baker’s slides, major takeaways from the presentation and discussion include:
- school spending varies substantially across states and major cities;
- school spending has not grown out of control for decades; and
- no magical substitutes exist (such as private schools and charters).
Baker is author of the book, Educational Inequality and School Finance: Why Money Matters for America’s Students.
(Deanna Atkins is digital content manager at AASA.)