This book examines the fundamental role of politics in funding our public schools and fills a conceptual imbalance in the current literature in school finance and educational policy. Unlike those who are primarily concerned about cost efficiency, Kenneth Wong specifies how resources are allocated for what purposes at different levels of the government. In contrast to those who focus on litigation as a way to reduce funding gaps, he underscores institutional stalemate and the lack of political will to act as important factors that affect legislative deadlock in school finance reform. Wong defines how politics has sustained various types of "rules" that affect the allocation of resources at the federal, state, and local level. While these rules have been remarkably stable over the past twenty to thirty years, they have often worked at cross-purposes by fragmenting policy and constraining the education process at schools with the greatest needs. Wong's examination is shaped by several questions. How do these rules come about? What role does politics play in retention of the rules? Do the federal, state, and local governments espouse different policies? In what ways do these policies operate at cross-purposes? How do they affect educational opportunities? Do the policies cohere in ways that promote better and more equitable student outcomes? Wong concludes that the five types of entrenched rules for resource allocation are rooted in existing governance arrangements and seemingly impervious to partisan shifts, interest group pressures, and constitutional challenge. And because these rules foster policy fragmentation and embody initiatives out of step with the performance-based reform agenda of the 1990s, the outlook for positive change in public education is uncertain unless fairly radical approaches are employed. Wong also analyzes four allocative reform models, two based on the assumption that existing political structures are unlikely to change and two that seek to empower actors at the school level. The two models for systemwide restructuring, aimed at intergovernmental coordination and/or integrated governance, would seek to clarify responsibilities for public education among federal, state, and local authorities-above all, integrating political and educational accountability. The other two models identified by Wong shift control from state and district to the school, one based on local leadership and the other based on market forces. In discussing the guiding principles of the four models, Wong takes care to identify both the potential and limitations of each. Written with a broad policy audience in mind, Wong's book should appeal to professionals interested in the politics of educational reform and to teachers of courses dealing with educational policy and administration and intergovernmental relations.
The National Education Finance Academy (NEFA) has completed a project providing a one- of-a-kind practical book on funding P-12 education in the United States. The book, entitled Funding Public Schools in the United States and Indian Country is a single volume with a clear and short chapter about each state. Approximately 50% of chapters are authored by university faculty who are members of NEFA; approximately 25% of chapters are authored by state department of education officials and/or state school board association officials; and the remaining 25% of chapters are authored by ASBO affiliate states. Each chapter contains information about: • Each state’s aid formula background; • Basic support program description and operation (the state aid formula) including how school aid is apportioned (e.g., state appropriations, local tax contributions, cost share ratios, and more); • Supplemental funding options relating to how school districts raise funds attached to or above the regular state aid scheme; • Compensatory programs operated in school districts and how those are funded and aided; • Categorical programs operated in school districts and how those are funded and aided; • Any funding supports for transportation operations; • Any funding supports for physical facilities and operations; and • Other state aids not covered in the above list.
Ohio's school funding system is complex. The average taxpayer has at best a limited understanding about how their public schools' revenues and expenditures are collected, distributed, and expended. Overlay on the already complicated funding model with a myriad of school choice options with various funding mechanisms and amounts results in increased complexity. Even educational professionals and policy makers lack a clear appreciation of all the mechanics and implications of school choice and fiscal strain it can place on local school district budgets. This study focuses on the economic impact that Ohio school choice programs have on local public school districts and its potentially deequalizing effects. A literature review traces the evolution of choice programs and their prevalence nationally, before describing Ohio's school choice options and their financing. A quantitative review of the impact of school choice programs on 11 school districts in one of Ohio's 88 counties reveals the flow of public tax dollars among public districts and between public school districts, community academies, private schools, and other educational providers. Findings illuminate the widely unrecognized interaction between school choice and the state school finance system. It furthermore reveals the potentially de-equalizing effects when local revenues, as contrasted to the state formula aid, are sent to other districts or providers, while other districts retain state aid for students they do not educate. Additionally, findings clarify the consequences for traditional public school budgets bearing pressure over local programs, decision-making, and the delivery of a "thorough and efficient" education that students are guaranteed by the Ohio Constitution.
In recent years, a conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, over vigorous dissents, has developed circumventions to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment that allow state legislatures unabashedly to use public tax dollars increasingly to aid private elementary and secondary education. This expansive and innovative legislation provides considerable governmental funds to support parochial schools and other religiously-affiliated education providers. That political response to the perceived declining quality of traditional public schools and the vigorous school choice movement for alternative educational opportunities provokes passionate constitutional controversy. Yet, the Court’s recent decision in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn inappropriately denies taxpayers recourse to challenge these proliferating tax funding schemes in federal courts. Professors Winer and Crimm clearly elucidate the complex and controversial policy, legal, and constitutional issues involved in using tax expenditures - mechanisms such as exclusions, deductions, and credits that economically function as government subsidies - to finance private, religious schooling. The authors argue that legislatures must take great care in structuring such programs and set forth various proposals to ameliorate the highly troubling dissention and divisiveness generated by state aid for religious education.
This Brief explores school funding reform in the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. In 1990, Kentucky passed the Kentucky Education Reform Act designed to overhaul that state’s education system. Two years later, Tennessee passed the Education Improvement Act which included the Basic Education Plan, designed to foster equity in funding among the state’s schools. Initiated as a result of lawsuits against the states’ educational systems, both programs dealt with school funding, specifically funding equalization among districts. This Brief examines the environments that precipitated funding reform in each state as well as the outcomes of the reforms on student achievement. The similarities and differences between the approaches in each state are analyzed and compared to related reform programs in other states. An in-depth study of regional educational reform in the United States, this Brief is of use to public policy scholars as well as education policy consultants and other school system or state education leaders.
The New York State Charter Schools Act, passed in 1998, identifies a bundle of resources available to charter schools from a variety of local, state, and federal sources. The Act intends for these resources to provide adequate funding and support for the operation of charter schools. Specific resources include a per pupil payment for general operating support, additional state funding for special education, federal dollars driven by student population (e.g. No Child Left Behind Title I funding), as well as in-kind services from the school district in which the charter school resides. This bundle of local, state, and federal resources roughly mirrors the funding and support provided to traditional public schools. Yet since the passage of the Act, and since New York State?s first five charter schools opened their doors in the fall of 1999, charter school advocates and operators have argued that this funding is insufficient. Specifically, they have maintained that the resources that charter schools receive are less than the resources available to other public schools in the same school district-- at times asserting that this discrepancy is as large as 30%. They also claim that lack of parity is a disincentive to future charter school operators. While charter school operators argue the lack of parity in resources, school districts argue that charter schools already receive sufficient funding. This paper explores whether or not funding disparities exist and the magnitude of any such disparities. It begins with a listing of the public resources available to charter schools in New York State, then proceeds with several comparative analyses for charter and traditional public schools in New York City. This paper also finds that New York City charter schools have fewer public resources than traditional public schools. This funding disparity exists at all educational levels--elementary, middle, and high school--and for students in both general and special education. By identhese discrepancies, this paper provides legislators and policy makers with evidence and information to correct this disparity and place charter schools on equal financial footing with all other public schools in New York State. Contains 7 figures, and 4 appendices. A list of other reports and papers on Charter Schools research done by the institute is also provided. [This report was also produced by the Office of New Schools Development New York City Department of Education.].
This analysis of PISA results finds that while the prevalence of privately managed schools in a country is not related to socio-economic stratification within a school system, the level of public funding to privately managed schools is.
Financing Public Schools moves beyond the basics of financing public elementary and secondary education to explore the historical, philosophical, and legal underpinnings of a viable public school system. Coverage includes the operational aspects of school finance, including issues regarding teacher salaries and pensions, budgeting for instructional programs, school transportation, and risk management. Diving deeper than other school finance books, the authors explore the political framework within which schools must function, discuss the privatization of education and its effects on public schools, offer perspectives regarding education as an investment in human capital, and expertly explain complex financial and economic issues. This comprehensive text provides the tools to apply the many and varied fiscal concepts and practices that are essential for aspiring public school administrators who aim to provide responsible stewardship for their students. Special Features: "Definitional Boxes" and "Key Terms" throughout chapters enhance understanding of difficult concepts. Coverage of legal, political, and historical issues provides a broader context and more complex understanding of school finance. Offers in-depth exploration of business management of financial resources, including fiscal accounting, school facilities, school transportation, financing with debt, and the nuances of school budgeting techniques.
This book is about public education reform and the future of pubHc education funding. Given the many articles, books, and conferences that have focused on the issue of public education reform, it is reasonable to ask whether the world needs still another volume on this subject. In my defense, I would argue that, although there is a large literature on public education reform, there is precious little that tries to sketch the big picture. Too often, both in research and in practice, it is easy to lose sight of the forest, for all the focus on the individual trees. While such detailed analysis is of critical value, that value derives both from its specificity and from its ability to fit into a larger, coherent whole. Unfortunately, our understanding of the public education process is still incomplete and disconnected, particularly with regard to the connections between research, policy, and practice. This book is an attempt to step back for a moment to get one's bearings before jumping headlong back into the forest. It is my hope that this book will be of value to a wide variety of reader- researchers in departments of economics and schools of education, policy makers at all levels, and, of course, the practitioners slogging away in the trenches.
"The book is, in part, the product of the May 2004 Cato Institute conference, 'Looking Worldwide : What America Can Learn from School Choice in Other Countries'"--Introd.
This study examines Utah's funding system for public education and provides an analysis of the fiscal impact of allowing parents to use a portion of their child's state education funding to attend a school of their choice, public or private. Like many states, Utah is facing pressure to improve its system of public education funding. The state's rapidly growing number of students and changing demographics have created the need for more teachers and schools. A school choice program would permit Utah to accommodate the growth of its educational needs while generating fiscal savings to both the state and local school districts. The proposed voucher program analyzed in this study results in a fiscal savings to the state, because it would cost less to give students vouchers than to educate them in the public school system. A voucher program would also result in a large revenue windfall to local districts, which would retain much of the revenue associated with voucher students even though the students themselves will have left the public system. (Contains 4 tables and 9 endnotes.) [This study was released jointly by the Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation, Parents for Choice in Education Foundation and the Utah Taxpayers Association.].
Two of the most respected voices in education and a team of young education scholars identify 50 myths and lies that threaten America's public schools. With hard-hitting information and a touch of comic relief, Berliner, Glass, and their Associates separate fact from fiction in this comprehensive look at modern education reform. They explain how the mythical failure of public education has been created and perpetuated in large part by political and economic interests that stand to gain from its destruction. They also expose a rapidly expanding variety of organizations and media that intentionally misrepresent facts. Many of these organizations also suggest that their goal is unbiased service in the public interest when, in fact, they represent narrow political and financial interests. Where appropriate, the authors name the promoters of these deceptions and point out how they are served by encouraging false beliefs. This provocative book features short essays on important topics to provide every elected representative, school administrator, school board member, teacher, parent, and concerned citizen with much food for thought, as well as reliable knowledge from authoritative sources. “Berliner and Glass are long-time critics of wrong-headed education reforms. 50 Myths and Lies continues their record of evidence-based truth-telling. Joined by 19 young scholars in identifying 50 of the worst ideas for changing our nation's schools, they are able to sort through the cacophony of today’s all too often ill-informed debate. Anyone involved in making decisions about today’s schools should read this book.” —Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University “This book is true grit. It’s the gritty reality of hard data. It’s the irritating grit that makes you shift in your seat. And it’s the grit that sometimes makes you want to weep. Well argued, well written—whether you agree or disagree with this book, if you care about the future of public education, you mustn’t ignore it.” —Andy Hargreaves, professor, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education, Lynch School of Education, Boston College “50 Myths and Lies is a powerful defense of public education and a discerning refutation of the reckless misimpressions propagated by a juggernaut of private-sector forces and right-wing intellectuals who would gladly rip apart the legacy of democratic schooling in America. It is a timely and hard-hitting book of scholarly but passionate polemic. The teachers of our children will be grateful.” —Jonathan Kozol, educator, author of Fire in the Ashes “What do you get when two world-class scholars and a team of talented analysts take a hard look at 50 widely held yet unsound beliefs about U.S. public schools? Well, in this instance you get a flat-out masterpiece that, by persuasively blending argument and evidence, blasts those beliefs into oblivion. Required reading? You bet!” —W. James Popham, professor emeritus, UCLA David C. Berliner is an educational psychologist and bestselling author. He was professor and dean of the Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education at Arizona State University. Gene V Glass is a senior researcher at the National Education Policy Center and a research professor in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder. TheirAssociates are the hand-picked leading PhDs and PhDs in training from their respective institutions.
The book offers an overview of international examples, studies, and guidelines on how to create successful partnerships in education. PPPs can facilitate service delivery and lead to additional financing for the education sector as well as expanding equitable access and improving learning outcomes.
The fight over the role of religion in public schools is far from finished, and the last and final words have not been written. This collection of original essays reveals and updates the battlefield. Included are essays on school prayer, the evolution/intelligent design debate, public funding of religious groups on university campuses, religious themes in school-taught literature, and more. With diverse tones and points of view, these essays offer quality scholarship while revealing and honoring the heat these themes generate.