Bruce D. Baker

Senior Research Fellow

Bruce Baker is Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University. His primary areas of research include elementary and secondary education finance, state school finance systems, and educational equity. Specifically, Baker studies costs associated with achieving common outcome goals across children and educational settings with the goal of using cost analysis to guide school funding policies. This work has recently been extended to better understand the full costs of providing equitable, free public 2-year postsecondary education (community college). Baker also studies the intersections between education funding and teacher and administrator labor markets. He is co-creator of the School Finance Indicators Database and author of two recent books from Harvard Education Press: Educational Inequality and School Finance: Why Money Matters for America's Students, and School Finance and Education Equity: Lessons from Kansas. He has advised numerous state legislatures and testified on behalf of plaintiff groups across the country regarding equity and adequacy of public school funding.

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  • Research Brief: How Money Matters for Schools

    How Money Matters for Schools

    Jul 17 2018
    This brief is based on a report reviewing research on the role of money in determining school quality. The research found that schooling resources that cost money are positively associated with student outcomes. In addition to summarizing the report, the brief offers these policy recommendations: Ensure school finance reforms are linked to thoughtful standards and supports for students and teachers, invest more in students who have greater needs, and invest in human resources.
  • How Money Matters for Schools

    How Money Matters for Schools

    Dec 13 2017
    For decades, some politicians and pundits have argued that “money does not make a difference” for school outcomes. While it is certainly possible to spend money poorly, this viewpoint is strongly contradicted by a large body of evidence from rigorous empirical research. This document presents a brief explanation of the goal of school finance reforms, followed by summaries of the main bodies of evidence that illustrate how equitable and adequate school funding improves student outcomes.