New research continues to show that funding does matter in education. From Chalkbeat:
“A 2018 overview of the research on education spending found that more money consistently meant better outcomes for students — higher test scores, higher graduation rates, and sometimes even higher wages as adults. It was enough for Northwestern economist Kirabo Jackson to say the question was ‘essentially settled.’
“Since then, the research hits have just kept on coming.”
Included in the story are four new studies from around the country, including one in Wisconsin:
Passing a funding boost raised test scores, college enrollment in Wisconsin districts
When and where? Over 300 Wisconsin school districts that voted on funding initiatives between 1996 and 2014
How was the study conducted? Researcher Jason Baron compared outcomes in districts that narrowly passed a local referendum to raise money for schools to districts where such a referendum just barely failed.
What did it find? Passing a referendum translated to an extra $600 or so in spending per student. That led to higher test scores and college enrollment rates (increasing from 55 to 60 percent), as well as a lower dropout rate (falling from 1 percent to 0.75 percent).
The share of students scoring proficient or better on the state test increased by 5 to 10 percentage points. This effect is larger than what’s been seen in most past research.
Interestingly, while test scores rose and dropout rates fell almost immediately, the college enrollment effect took a while to fully appear. The effect was greatest 10 years after the referendum, suggesting there was a cumulative effect of more spending.
How was the extra money used? Teacher pay rose by about 3% and staff-to-student ratios dipped.
To see the full story, including the findings of the other studies, click below:
4 new studies bolster the case: More money for schools helps low-income students