Reposted from the Washington Post:
“In a report released Wednesday, the Center for American Progress published how much “bang for the buck” taxpayers are getting from public schools. The report, analyzed budgets of 7,000 school districts across about 40 states – which enroll about about 80 percent of U.S. public school students – and found some surprising results. Relatively affluent school districts in communities such as Montgomery County, Md., or Scarsdale , N.Y., spent a lot on each student ($15,421 in Montgomery and $24,607 in Scarsdale) and posted strong academic results, but other districts in their states got similar academic results with less money.
School districts often spend money on items that might do nothing to improve student achievement. For example, many school districts pay a premium to teachers with master’s degrees, even though there is no evidence that advanced degrees translate into better student test scores. According to one 2009 study, the country spends about $15 billion a year paying out “master’s bumps” to teachers.
The Return on Investment index was created by rating school districts on how much academic achievement they attained for every dollar spent, relative to other districts in their state. Academic achievement was measured using state reading and math tests in elementary, middle and high school. The data used were from 2010-2011 school year.”