Do Dollars Make a Difference?: The Relationship Between Expenditures and Test Scores in Pennsylvania’s Public Schools

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For the past three decades it has been evident that the quality of public schools in the United States has been on the decline. Whether measured empirically against the systems of other countries or judged anecdotally by employers who believe today's high school graduates do not have the skills requisite for even entry-level work, it becomes clear there is something wrong with the current public school system. The education establishment claims the problem is a lack of funding, while many tax payer groups claim more money is not the answer. This study uses data from each of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts to look at the relationship between funding and achievement while controlling for the economic background of each school's student population, as well as other organizational characteristics.

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American Economist