How Progressive is School Funding in the United States?

The fact that overall funding progressivity remains low despite two decades of reforms suggests a troubling lack of progress on equitable funding of public schools.

The Tangled World of Teacher Debt

Clashing rules and uncertain benefits for federal student-loan subsidies

That’s Not Fair!

Students in public charter schools receive $5,721 or 29% less in average per-pupil revenue than students in traditional public schools.

EdNext Podcast: Unmasking School Spending

As of December 2018, school districts nationwide will be required to report exactly what they spend on each of their schools. Will that information kick off a new wave of school finance research and reform? Could it become one of the law’s most important legacies? Marty West discusses the change with Marguerite Roza of Georgetown University.

Charters Must Avoid Recreating the Failed School District Financial Model

It’s troubling to see that many charter schools and CMOs are steadily accumulating fixed costs.

With New Data, School Finance is Coming Out of the Dark Ages

A sleeper provision in the Every Student Succeeds Act will serve up a motherlode of never-before-available school-level financial data.

Why Teachers Need Portable Benefits

Traditional pension benefits aren’t portable. When a teacher moves to a new state, her previous service years don’t automatically rollover for free. Instead, she starts back at zero.

What’s at Stake in the Ongoing Fight About School Spending Comparability?

Today’s dispute over comparability marks the midpoint in a decades-long struggle over whether districts have a right to skimp on funding their most troubled schools.

What Should States Do About School Districts In Financial Trouble?

Communities rarely embrace tough trade-offs. We need to lean on school boards and superintendents to take their fiduciary responsibilities seriously.

School Pension Costs Have Doubled Over the Last Decade, Now Top $1,000 Per Pupil Nationally

Employer pension costs represent a significant drain on resources that might otherwise have been available for classroom expenditures.

Not in the Right Ballpark

A continuation of the debate over a study on the impact of school spending by C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker C. Johnson, and Claudia Persico

Money Does Matter After All

A response to Eric Hanushek

Money Matters After All?

A response to Boosting Educational Attainment and Adult Earnings by C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker C. Johnson, and Claudia Persico

Boosting Educational Attainment and Adult Earnings

Does school spending matter after all?

Pension Debt Crowds Out Other School Spending in Michigan

In Michigan, school funding has increased, but schools aren’t seeing much of the money. Instead, most of the funding increases are going toward paying off the state’s retirement debt.

Teachers Would Prefer Cash

A common perception about how we pay public sector workers is fundamentally flawed.

The Twenty-Five Richest Elementary Schools in the Richest Region of the Country

At one elementary school, the average income is almost $250,000 per year. Is this school really more “public” than an inner-city Catholic school serving poor minority children? The public spends $12,000 per child on the former and $0 per child on the latter. Tell me again why that’s fair?

The Stock Market Has Recovered. Why Haven’t Pensions?

Pension plans have not made much of a dent in their long-term unfunded debt. How could this be?

Behind the Headline: How the Education Spendthrifts Get Away With It

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Paul Peterson looks at why it is so popular for politicians to call for more spending on schools.

The Hidden Half: School Employees Who Don’t Teach

Why do American public schools spend more of their operating budgets on non-teachers than almost every other country in the world, including nations that are as prosperous and humane as ours?

Two Graphs on Urban Teachers and Their (Lack of) Pensions

The majority of teachers in these cities do not remain in the same district long enough to qualify for even a minimal pension, and only a very tiny fraction of teachers stay long enough to receive a pension that would be sufficient for a stable retirement.

California Pension Reform: An Interview With San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed

Will states and cities facing skyrocketing costs find a way to protect the retirement benefits that people have already earned while making changes to the way benefits are earned in the future?

Illinois Pension Reform: An Interview With State Senator Daniel Biss

Illinois recently passed pension reform legislation with robust bipartisan support. Here’s how and why it happened.

Pension Reform vs. the ‘California Rule’

Cities and states faced with rising pension costs have begun to search for the most effective way to balance retirement promises made to workers with the need for fiscal sustainability and employer flexibility.

Robbing Peter To Pay Paul’s Defined Benefit Pension

The fact that Missouri’s defined benefit pension systems do not tie an individual’s contributions directly to his or her pension benefits causes numerous problems.

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