CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

Costs of School Reform and Effective Resource Use Patterns

The goals of this study were to identify: (1) the costs of instructional improvement, (2) the costs of successful school-wide strategies, (3) effective school-wide resource use patterns, and (4) the related district and state school finance policy implications. Thus, the project identified the costs of effective instructional improvement identified in three other CPRE projects ("Study of Instructional Improvement," "Knowledge- and Skill-based Teacher Evaluation and Pay," and "Improving Performance in Schools and Districts." Because school strategies include more than just instructional improvement strategies, this study also addressed the costs and resource use patterns of school-wide strategies that are successful in teaching students to higher standards.

The major questions addressed by this project were:

  • What are the cost elements, cost structures, and cost levels of effective instructional intervention strategies?
  • What are the cost elements, cost structures, and cost levels of comprehensive school-wide strategies that are effective in teaching students to higher standards?
  • To what degree and how are these cost elements, cost levels, and effective resource use patterns included in state school finance structures, particularly school finance systems, that are meant to be "adequate"?
  • What can be said about what it costs at the school, district, and state levels to teach students to high standards, the primary goal of standards-based education reform?
  • Do these cost elements and costs vary across public, charter, and other choice schools?


Redesigning School Finance Systems: Lessons from CPRE Research (Allan Odden, CPRE Policy Brief No. RB-50)

School Finance: A Policy Perspective, Third Edition (Allan Odden and Larry Picus, 2004 McGraw Hill, New York)

Rethinking the finance system for improved student achievement. In W.L.Boyd & D. Miretzky (Eds.), American Educational Governance on Trial: Change and Challenge (102nd Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education (pp. 82-113). National Society for the Study of Education.