Study Says Some Taxpayers Get More Bang for School Bucks

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A national study correlating school spending with academic results shows that taxpayers in some school districts are getting more bang for their buck, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

In a related article, Education Week reported that the study showed that the most productive districts were those that spent relatively more on teachers and less on administration; were willing to make unpopular decisions like closing schools; and partnered with local communities.

The Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C., think tank, recently released its review of “educational productivity” in 46 states, which shows that some public school districts spend relatively less money and achieve higher test scores, while the reverse is true in other districts, The Press reported. Each district was given a “return on investment” score.

The study, which uses primarily data from 2007-2008, takes into consideration student poverty levels and cost of living, according to the Center for American Progress website.

In Michigan, for example, Comstock Park Public Schools received among the state’s highest scores, while a number of urban districts ? Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids ? ranked in the lowest tier, The Press reported.

The Grand Rapids Press, “Report says Comstock Park schools is getting results with its cash,” Jan. 21, 2011

Center for American Progress, “Return on Educational Investment,” January 19, 2011

Education Week, “Sweeping study weighs school districts’ ‘educational productivity,’” Jan. 19, 2011 (Subscription required)

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Poor ROI for K-12 spending in Michigan and the US,” Dec. 22, 2010