“Increased school spending is linked to improved outcomes for students, and for low-income students in particular, argue Kirabo Jackson, Rucker Johnson and Claudia Persico in Boosting Educational Attainment and Adult Earnings.
Previous research has shown no link between school spending and learning.
This study correlated spending increases with “large improvements in educational attainment, wages, and family income, and reductions in the annual incidence of adult poverty for children from low-income families.” However, “how the money is spent matters,” the authors write in Education Next.
Ric Hanushek questions the analysis. School spending has increased significantly, he writes.
If a ten percent increase yields the results calculated by Jackson, Johnson, and Persico, shouldn’t we have found all gaps gone (and even reversed) by now due to the actual funding increases? And, even with small effects on the non-poor, shouldn’t we have seen fairly dramatic improvements in overall educational and labor market outcomes? In reality, in the face of dramatic past increases in school funding, the gaps in attainment, high school graduation, and family poverty have remained significant, largely resisting any major improvement.
How money is spent matters a great deal more than the number of dollars available, Hanushek concludes.