Related Research: Equitable Resources and Access

Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card, Seventh Edition: February 2018

Bruce Baker, Danielle Farrie, and David Sciarra
2018 | The seventh edition of the National Report Card (NRC) finds that public school funding in most states continues to be unfair and inequitable. The NRC reports almost no improvement since the end of the Great Recession in those states that do not provide additional funding to districts with high student poverty. This data underscore the persistence of unfair school funding as a major obstacle to improving quality and outcomes in the nation's public schools.

Most States Have Cut School Funding, and Some Continue Cutting

Michael Leachman, Nick Albares, Kathleen Masterson, and Marlana Wallace
2016 | Authors Michael Leachman, Nick Albares, Kathleen Masterson, and Marlana Wallace surveyed state budget documents and found that most states provide less support per student for elementary and secondary schools—in some cases, much less—than before the Great Recession. Some states are still cutting eight years after the recession took hold. These cuts weaken schools’ capacity to develop the intelligence and creativity of the next generation of workers and entrepreneurs.

The Effect of School Finance Reforms on the Distribution of Spending, Academic Achievement, and Adult Outcomes

C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker Johnson, and Claudia Persico
2014 | The school finance reforms (SFR) that began in the early 1970s and accelerated in the 1980s caused some of the most dramatic changes in the structure of K-12 education spending in U.S. history. Authors Rucker Johnson, Kirabo Jackson, and Claudia Persico found that SFRs have been instrumental in equalizing school spending between low- and high-income districts; many reforms do so by increasing spending for poor districts.

Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do to Give Every Child an Even Chance

Prudence Carter and Kevin Wilner
2013 | Closing the Opportunity Gap, by Prudence Carter and Kevin Welner, offers accessible, research-based essays written by top experts who highlight the discrepancies that exist in our public schools. The authors focus on how policy decisions and life circumstances conspire to create the "opportunity gap" that leads inexorably to stark achievement gaps. The experts also describe sensible policies grounded in evidence that can restore and enhance opportunities.

The Widening Academic Achievement Gap Between the Rich and the Poor

Sean F. Reardon
2011 | In this article, Sean Reardon asks whether and how the relationship between family socioeconomic characteristics and academic achievement has changed during the last 50 years, with a particular focus on income inequality. His analysis indicates that as the income gap has widened, so has the achievement gap: The achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families is roughly 40 percent larger among children born in 2001 than among those born 25 years earlier.