Grace M. Callahan



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The public education system has recently been undergoing many changes, with new policies such as No Child Left Behind, an increased focus on high states testing, and the implementation of value added teacher evaluations; the ultimate goal being to raise achievement levels for public school students. In the midst of all of these changes, educational funding has become an important issue, with average per pupil expenditures growing from $6,663 in 1982-83 to $11,470 in 2004-05 (Grubb, 2009, p. 2). In response to the spending changes, many have studied whether or not there is in fact a correlation between school expenditures and student achievement. The question has become more and more important and controversial over the past few years, because the data gained from studies attempting to find an answer has an impact on policy, yet a definitive one has not been found. My purpose is to investigate the various reports on this topic to discover if any definite conclusions can be derived from the data. I will be reviewing the methodologies used to collect data and the analyses of the data presented. I will also draw upon other authors who have written about this topic and review their opinions and ideas. A theme that many researchers are beginning to agree on is that the use of educational funds is much more important than the amount, so I will also discuss the thoughts on how allocation of resources might be more affective in producing the desired result of increased student achievement.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Patricia M. Hart

Primary Advisor's Department

Teacher Education


Stander Symposium poster

Efficiency, Adequacy, and Equity in Educational Funding: A Review of the Literature