In celebration of Education Law Center’s 50th
anniversary, ELC, ETS, and the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) co-sponsored a webinar to highlight new research on the impact of investments in PK-12 public education.

Money Matters: Evidence Supporting Greater Investment in PK-12 Public Education,” featured leading school finance experts Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (LPI), Dr. Rucker Johnson (University of California, Berkeley) and Dr. Jesse Rothstein (University of California, Berkeley), presenting research demonstrating the link between increased school funding and improved student outcomes. The webinar was introduced by ETS President and CEO Amit Sevak.

In a discussion moderated by ELC’s former Executive Director David Sciarra, the panelists explored how recent breakthroughs in school finance research can inform both policy and practice. Presenters contextualized how money matters in education through cutting-edge analyses of national school finance data and more detailed evaluations of specific interventions at the state and local level.

  • Dr. Rothstein described how variations in state-level finance reforms over the last few decades can be viewed as natural experiments that provide credible evidence of the effects of funding increases, namely that more money leads to higher test scores, greater educational attainment, and higher earnings.
  • Dr. Johnson focused on research on the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) reforms in California. His research showed that LCFF funding increases had widespread positive effects such as improving achievement and graduation rates, narrowing the achievement gap, and reducing students’ behavioral problems. His research also demonstrated the benefits of early childhood education and how access to quality preschool programs magnifies the effects of K-12 spending increases for poor students.
  • Dr. Darling-Hammond shared research and examples of effective state funding strategies to address the inequitable school funding for all students, pointing to strategic investments in teacher preparation, early education, community schools, and whole child supports.

With real-world examples of how state-level school finance reforms, a high-quality workforce, social-emotional supports, the expansion of free preschool, and other interventions improve both long- and short-term outcomes, the panelists provided irrefutable evidence that money spent on the PK-12 education system improves the lives of students and has long-lasting benefits to society more broadly.

To access a more detailed summary of the research presented, including advocacy-focused talking points and a list of works cited, click here.

More information about events planned to celebrate ELC’s 50th
anniversary is available here.

Press Contact:

Sharon Krengel
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications
973-624-1815, x 240

Share this post:

Press Contact:
Sharon Krengel
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications
973-624-1815, x240