Center for Student-Based Budgeting Newsletter, October 2019
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Student-Based Budgeting Newsletter

Center for Student-Based Budgeting Newsletter, October 2019

In this issue: give school principals the budget authority they need, state-level education reforms, the cost-effectiveness of public charter schools in Texas, and more.

Notable Quotable 

“When principals, rather than the district, weigh tradeoffs for their schools, they are more likely to engage the community, factor in what matters most for their students and staff, and communicate the rationale for the compromise alongside a plan to mitigate any downsides. For example, a principal may decide not to replace a retiring vice principal, but instead keep a librarian to help boost reading scores. Parents and teachers trust their principals more than they do the district, thus principals can often garner support for tradeoffs that the district can’t.” –Hannah Jarmolowski and Aaron Garth Smith

Student-Based Budgeting in the News

Public School Districts Don’t Accept All Students — But They Should
The question is, why aren’t public school districts living up to their purported mission to serve all students? One reason is that many districts have little financial incentive to do so.

Give Principals Authority They Need
With unsafe buildings, chaotic classrooms, low teacher morale, and terrible student outcomes, Providence Public Schools needs comprehensive reform. Here’s an idea: shift spending decisions directly to schools.

For Already Burdened Principals, Budget Control Remains Elusive
Only a handful of school districts give principals meaningful discretion over education dollars.

Don’t Let State-Level Education Reforms Overshadow the Need for District Change
School districts, not states, are the true gatekeepers for how school-level resources are used — and if they don’t reform their ways, state-level changes may only have muted effects on the lives of individual students.

Research and Resources Spotlight

The Cost-Effectiveness of Public Charter Schools in Texas
A new working paper finds that public charter schools demonstrate cost-effectiveness advantages of between 8 percent and 42 percent, depending on the model employed, over district-run public schools in Texas.

Video: New Demands for Education Finance Leadership
A webinar hosted by Marguerite Roza of Georgetown University’s Edunomics Lab.

Measuring Student Poverty: Alternatives to Free and Reduced-Price Lunch
A new tracker from Urban Institute compares how states estimate student poverty.

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Aaron Garth Smith is the director of education reform at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.