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New Report: District-by-District Return on Educational Investment

Used by permission of 123rf.com

Used by permission of 123rf.com

Every year when my husband and I pay our property tax, I stop to pause over the amount of money we earn that is going to support our Missouri district and wonder how well they’re using it. According to one new report, we’re getting moderate results for moderate spending. And you may be surprised that excellent educational results are not necessarily emerging from districts with high rates of spending.

This week, the Center for American Progress released their new report — Return on Educational Investment: 2014 — with a tool allowing you to check on the performance of most districts throughout the United States. Unfortunately, numbers for Kansas are not available, because there were not enough of what the report’s authors called “comparable districts” in the state.

However, according to the report, Kansas has been attempting to improve education budgeting practices:

A task force in Kansas has also recently made recommendations on fiscal practices. The effort started when a school efficiency task force in the state tried to detail administrative cost-savings strategies. … But the task force found that it was difficult to differentiate what qualifies as instructional spending as opposed to administrative costs, and so the group recommended forming another group, which would create a common definition of instructional spending.

If you live or pay taxes in Missouri, though, you should check out this report.

Some perspective on the numbers: The report is produced by a reputable but left-leaning think tank, and the numbers are based on the most recent available, which were for the 2011 school year.

To read the report and a summary, click HERE.

And to connect immediately with the tool allowing you to check on the effectiveness of educational investment in your district, click HERE.

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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