Smart Money brings together research on education finance policy and on the uses of school and district resources, thus providing a uniquely comprehensive analysis of school finance systems.
Education finance has emerged as one of the most pressing public policy issues of the new century. Americans spend more than $500 billion a year on elementary and secondary education, yet neither policy-makers nor practitioners seems to know how to align these resources with student learning goals. In fact, spending increases have outstripped achievement gains. It seems that the connection between resources and learning is growing weaker, not stronger.
This ambitious volume poses four critical questions:
Adams and his coauthors do not shy away from the difficulties involved in reforming school finance. They acknowledge the challenges that must be addressed in creating political conditions to support new finance systems and call for an aggressive research and development agenda to guide the process of change with good evidence about what works to improve student learning. — Janet Hansen, vice president and director of education studies, Committee for Economic Development
Smart Money is an unprecedented book that tackles head-on the need to redesign and reorient school funding systems toward student learning and more strategic resource use. These thoughtful and informative analyses are especially timely as educators, policy makers, and the public strive to raise academic standards for all students in difficult economic conditions. — Margaret Goertz, professor of education, University of Pennsylvania
Written by the leading scholars and policy analysts in the field, this volume is laden with smart ideas for making our educational financing system a catalyst for experimentation, innovation, and improved student performance. — Martin Orland, director of evaluation and policy research, WestEd
This analysis by some of the wisest people in the school finance world, with Jacob Adams’s masterful introduction, should be required reading for the architects of the next reform wave. — Robert F. Sexton, executive director, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence