Facing the Future: Financing Productive Schools
Paul Hill, Marguerite Roza, James Harvey
Center on Reinventing Public Education, School Finance Redesign Project
November 2008


Abstract:

Public school finance systems around the United States are outmoded, failing to support the effective education of America’s children. In practice, the way states and local school districts fund their schools is “like an old computer that has become so laden with applications, one added on top of another over the decades, that it can no longer do anything well.”

This is the conclusion of an extensive six-year national study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The study’s final report, Facing the Future: Financing Productive Schools, authored by Paul Hill, Marguerite Roza, and James Harvey, criticizes school finance systems because they are so burdened by rules and narrow policies that they commit dollars “with little regard for results, holding adults accountable for compliance but not results.”

According to the authors, “We need to measure performance at every level—district, school and classroom—and let money and students flow from less to more effective uses. We need to experiment with new ideas and new technologies.”

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