Learning Policy Institute
How Money Matters for Schools
This brief is based upon a report that reviewed research on the role of money in determining school quality. The research documents that resource investments matter for student outcomes, especially when they are directed to under-resourced districts and students from low-income families. The research also shows that spending resources in ways that reduce class sizes for young children and those with greater academic needs and that improve teacher quality have strong payoffs for outcomes. Finally, some research suggests that increasing and equalizing school funding may be most effective when it is part of a comprehensive set of efforts to improve teaching and learning.
While money alone is not the answer to all educational ills, more equitable and adequate allocation of financial inputs to schooling provides a necessary underlying condition for improving the equity and adequacy of outcomes.
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