NEPC Review: Shortchanging Disadvantaged Students: An Analysis of Intra-district Spending Patterns in Ohio
The Buckeye Institute report, Shortchanging Disadvantaged Students: An Analysis of Intra-district Spending Patterns in Ohio, argues that high-poverty Ohio school districts can no longer place blame on the State of Ohio for failing to provide financial resources equitably. Rather, the authors argue that inequitable resource allocation across schools within high-poverty districts is the primary cause of remaining poverty-related disparities in student outcomes in Ohio. However, analyses presented by the authors fail to validate that the State of Ohio has allocated financial resources across districts with any greater degree of equity than high-poverty districts have allocated resources across schools. The authors show that many of the 72 high-poverty districts they identify in the state do not systematically allocate more funding to higher poverty schools. This finding is undermined by numerous well-understood, overlooked factors, however, including cost differences and poverty-reporting differences by school grade level and very basic issues of sample size. Finally, while the authors contend that poverty-related achievement gaps are a function of within district resource allocation disparities, the authors provide no validation that the achievement gap they measure exists within rather than between districts.
Baker, B. (2007). Review of "Shortchanging Disadvantaged Students: An Analysis of Intra-district Spending Patterns in Ohio." Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. Retrieved [date] from http://epicpolicy.org/thinktank/review-shortchanging-disadvantaged-students-an-analysis-intra-district-spending-patterns-o