The main sources of funds for our schools are local property taxes and state revenues. Put in the simplest of terms, the ability of a local government to pay for the education of its children depends mostly on property values and the number of pupils in the district, or property value per pupil.
Any response to the punitive nature of the NCLB must be balanced by recognition that there is a genuine need for helpful school accountability, particularly for those schools that serve communities of color and economically disenfranchised families. Opposition to NCLB doesn't mean opposing any and all forms of accountability. Rather, the law should be used to advocate for a way to develop genuine accountability that supports improved student learning and schools.
President Barack Obama Monday urged the nation’s governors to invest more state resources in education, saying a highly skilled workforce is crucial for the U.S. to remain competitive with other countries.
On average, most states estimate that special education funding monies from the federal government make up less than 15%. This leaves the local school districts scrambling to fund the remaining costs of mandated special education services.
The president has made college affordability a priority and says he wants to reward states that maintain “adequate” funding for public colleges and universities. Obama also wants to use the grants to encourage colleges and universities to align their standards with high schools so that students entering college do not need remedial courses.
Obama’s budget proposal Monday for the next fiscal year seeks level funding or slight increases for several education programs, including competitive grants that reward public education reforms and innovation. And he wants to spend $14 billion on one-time “strategic investment” in key areas, including synchronizing education with labor needs, improving teacher quality and making college more affordable.
We already know a lot about how to create socially supportive and intellectually engaging environments for teachers and students. It takes hard work and resources. School communities need to have unity around goals and teaching practices. And schools need quality teachers, adequate support staff, engaging multicultural curriculum, useful assessments, adequate planning time and staff development, significant parent involvement, small class sizes, quality before- and after-school programs, early childhood education, and quality leadership.
The system is so infested with complexities, state mandates and unaccountability that Ted Mitchell, president of the state Board of Education and former president of Occidental College, says that "it's remarkable that school administrators can open the doors of their schools on a daily basis."
“Money matters in education,” the report said. “Districts with the greatest increases in student achievement generally received the largest increases in state funding for basic education. These districts invested the new resources in tutoring programs for struggling students, teacher training programs and expanded early childhood classrooms.”
Detailed research spanning two decades and observing performance in many different educational settings provides strong and consistent evidence that expenditures are not systematically related to student achievement.