School Funding and Academic Performance – Highlights from Around the United States

State Public School System Ranked Best in the US by 2 Reports
Washington Post, January 8, 2009

Excerpts from article: “A six-year Maryland effort to spend
billions of dollars more on public education has led to major
performance gains that have helped make the state’s schools the best in
the country, according to a pair of independent reports released
yesterday……The MGT report found that for every additional $1,000 spent
per elementary student, proficiency rates rose 4 percent. They rose 8
percent on the same measure for middle school students.

“Additional money, with strong accountability, can make a
difference,” Nancy S. Grasmick, state superintendent of schools, said
in response to the two reports.

“I think what this report means is that we, the people of the
state of Maryland, have made a huge investment in education, and that
investment is paying off,” O’Malley said. Echoing the governor, banners
draped in the Annapolis High auditorium proclaimed: “Maryland Public
Schools — A Great Investment!”

A Uniform System of Public Schools Benefits Minnesota
P.S. Minnesota, 2009

Excerpt from webpage: “Minnesotans reap the benefits of investing in public education through:Increased
personal income of future wage earners, providing a broader tax base to
help support necessary state infrastructure such as roads and bridges
and natural resources.

  • A stable economy, including solid property values and high employment.
  • Decreased cost of state services such as MinnesotaCare,
    incarceration, and community college remediation costs and lost
    earnings.”

Closing the Achievement Gap Through Additional Funding, High-Quality Instruction, and a Focus on Early Literacy
Lessons from New Jersey Districts, Center for American Progress, April 7, 2009

Excerpt from article: “The results of early childhood education
and intensive early literacy programs show growth in student
achievement,” said Munoz. “The Elizabeth [New Jersey] students who
attended these programs at the age of four outscored students who had
not attended these programs by 11 points in grade three and 14 in grade
four.” The data collected on the Abbott schools’ progress as a whole
consistently demonstrates this type of achievement. “It’s unusual to
see these kinds of gains district-wide,” Anrig said. “So we think there
are a lot of implications for national education policy in looking at
what happened in New Jersey.”

Governor Paterson Announces Historic $1.75 Billion Increase in Education Funding, Advances Goal of Universal Prekindergarten
Governor’s Press Release April 9, 2008

Excerpt: “Even in difficult fiscal times, we still must strive
to provide critical funding for our education system,” said Governor
Paterson. “New York must be ready to address both the challenges and
opportunities presented by the global economy, and that means ensuring
that our students have the knowledge they need to compete for the jobs
of tomorrow.”

Pennsylvania
Governor Rendell Urges New, Long-Term Investment in Student Achievement
That Takes Burden Off of Local Property Taxes

Reuters, 23 May 2008

Excerpt: “Statewide, the Governor’s school funding plan would
invest $2.6 billion over the next six years with a new funding formula
based on the results of the General Assembly’s report, which, for the
first time ever, set a per-pupil-funding target to provide a
high-quality education in each school
district.”

Governor Signs Landmark Education Reform Bill
May 19, 2009

Excerpt: A broad-based coalition of parents, business
leaders, community members and education stakeholders worked closely
with legislators for months to pass ESHB 2261. The reforms, which begin
in 2011 and will be fully implemented by 2018, will:

  • Expand the school day so high school students can take more
    math, science and world language courses to graduate with 24 credits;
  • Redefine basic education to include all-day kindergarten,
    highly capable education, transportation and other academic programs
    and support services students need to succeed in school;
  • Make school funding more transparent for school leaders,
    lawmakers and parents through the use of a “prototypical schools”
    model; and
  • Direct the State Board of Education to create an accountability
    system and intervention measures targeted at challenged schools and
    districts.”

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