Education Spending Not Tied To Success

New study featured in state media

The path to improving student performance isn’t as simple as spending more on education, according to a new study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

The study — authored by Mackinac’s Education Policy Director Ben DeGrow and Edward C. Hoang, a professor of economics at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs — found no correlation between increased spending and student achievement. These findings suggest that how schools spend money may be more important than how much schools spend.

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Among the media outlets throughout the state to cover the report was the Lansing State Journal, which noted that in the 28 areas of achievement examined, a link between spending and performance was found in only one.

“We’re not saying resources can’t make a difference in some cases,” said Ben DeGrow, the center’s education policy director. “But when you look at the big picture of how our education system is set up, it’s not structured to take those funding increases and turn them into better results for students.”

DeGrow also joined Renk on the Live with Renk Show to explain the importance of the study. The Michigan Legislature has hired a Denver-based firm for $399,000 to determine if the state spends enough on education. That report was due in March, but the deadline has now been extended to May 13 and will almost certainly recommend the state spend more.

“Lawmakers, parents and the Michigan Department of Education owe it to students to examine how education dollars are spent, rather than simply throwing more money to areas that do not directly impact the classroom,” DeGrow said when the study was released.

Read the full Lansing State Journal article here.

Access the study here.

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