Source: Ed Dandalt and Marybeth Gasman, Labor Law Journal, Vol. 71, Issue No. 2, Summer 2020
From the abstract:
In a scholarly context where most legal research on the implementation of the United States Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown decision has evolved around the militancy of civil rights organizations for school desegregation, this article examines the leadership undertaken by federal teacher associations (American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association) at the national level to support the implementation of this hallmark decision during the modern civil rights movement. The analysis of this article is limited to the national desegregation services provided by these collective bargaining organizations to their locals. Findings from the primary materials that were reviewed suggest that the leadership provided by these organizations contributed to the desegregation of locals and was a catalyst for union mergers in public education.
Source: Moody’s, June 23, 2020
Many states suffering revenue declines because of the coronavirus outbreak will cut K-12 funding, leaving school districts having to raise revenue, reduce expenses or draw down reserves. Raising revenue or reducing expenses generally lowers credit risk the most, while spending reserves, particularly large single-year drawdowns, tends to carry the greatest risk.
Source: Jeffrey W Snyder, Andrew Saultz, Rebecca Jacobsen, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Volume 29, Issue 4, October 2019
From the abstract:
Performance management reforms are a popular way to try to create responsive and improving government. These types of reforms have become commonplace in education policy and the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (JPART) has been one of the leading venues for research on these topics. However, under-analyzed are the ways in which performance management policies represent antipolitical bent to education reform. We outline an argument that avoiding political decisionmaking in favor of reforms that create authoritative or purportedly neutral data risks undertaking policy change are not as meaningful as hoped. We select eight articles that represent research on performance management broadly and are thought provoking for a broader consideration of performance management in education policy.
Source: Helen Cregger, Denise Rappmund, Naomi Richman, Leonard Jones, Alexandra S. Parker, Moody’s, Sector In-Depth, September 17, 2019
Given enrollment declines, high housing prices, tighter labor markets and a growing proportion of legacy fixed costs, meeting teacher pay and staffing demands will continue to challenge districts, especially those with more constrained finances.
Source: Paul N. Thompson, Mark St. John, Public Finance Review, Online First, Published September 8, 2019
From the abstract:
Performance audits are a form of weak financial oversight intended to curb inefficient spending and help alleviate financial problems. This study examines the effect of these performance audits on school district finances in Ohio, where performance audits are used on their own and within the context of the state’s fiscal stress labeling system—a strong financial oversight system. Using a difference-in-differences analysis, we find school districts do reduce expenditures as a result of these performance audits. These changes in financial behavior are found even for performance audits in nonfiscal stress districts, suggesting that weak oversight programs may be an effective means toward changing fiscal behavior. Despite the financial changes in nonfiscal stress districts that receive audits, there appears to be little impact on school district proficiency rates. These results suggest that audits may provide a useful mechanism for changing financial behavior of school districts without much associated efficiency losses.
Source: Joseph Marchand, Jeremy G. Weber, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Early View, August 29, 2019
From the abstract:
Whether improved local economic conditions lead to better student outcomes is theoretically ambiguous and will depend on how schools use additional revenues and how students and teachers respond to rising private sector wages. The Texas boom in shale oil and gas drilling, with its large and localized effects on wages and the tax base, provides a unique opportunity to address this question that spans the areas of education, labor markets, and public finance. An empirical approach using variation in shale geology across school districts shows that the boom reduced test scores and student attendance, despite tripling the local tax base and creating a revenue windfall. Schools spent additional revenue on capital projects and debt service, but not on teachers. As the gap between teacher wages and private sector wages grew, so did teacher turnover and the percentage of inexperienced teachers, which helps explain the decline in student achievement. Changes in student composition did not account for the achievement decline but instead helped to moderate it. The findings illustrate the potential value of using revenue growth to retain teachers in times of rising private sector wages.
Source: Sylvia Allegretto, The Atlantic, September 6, 2019
When classroom jobs were female college graduates’ best option, U.S. schools could skimp on wages. To fill vacancies now, districts and state legislatures need to offer competitive pay.
Source: Mercedes Martinez and Monique Dols, Labor Notes, August 15, 2019
In the two months leading up to the uprising which ousted Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Roselló, educators celebrated hard-fought victories against the privatization of their education system. Struggles by teachers and families against school closures and charter schools helped pave the way for July’s unprecedented outpouring of protest (see box).
By the end of the school year in June, it became clear that the struggle to stop charterization had largely won. There is only one actively functional charter school on the island.
Then in July, teachers and families who had fought pitched battles against the closing of 442 public schools by ex-Secretary of Education Julia Keleher were vindicated when Keleher was arrested on corruption charges.
As the new school year starts in August, educators are still fighting to fully fund and staff the schools, reopen those shuttered under Keleher, and keep the charters out. In the weeks and months to come, expect educators to keep playing a critical role in the struggle for democracy, against austerity, and for the dignity of the working class in Puerto Rico….
Source: Harry A. Patrinos, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8866, May 28, 2019
From the abstract:
The pattern of economic rates of return to investments in education can help us to understand the benefits of schooling. It was common knowledge that the returns to education were highest for the primary level of education and lower for subsequent levels. Recent evidence suggests that the pattern has changed. Since the 1980s, the returns to schooling overall have increased. The returns to higher education have increased the most. The fact that the more educated have improved their position, despite an increase in their numbers, must mean that the demand for more educated workers has increased more than supply over time, causing an increase in the overall returns to schooling. Possible reasons include technological change favoring higher-order skills, increased coverage at lower levels of schooling, and the quality of schooling.
Source: Rebecca R. Skinner, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, R45827, July 23, 2019
The funding of public elementary and secondary schools in the United States involves a combination of local, state, and federal government revenues, in proportions that vary substantially both across and within states. According to the most recent data, state governments provide 47.0% of these revenues, local governments provide 44.8%, and the federal government provides 8.3%. Over the last several decades, the share of public elementary and secondary education revenues provided by state governments has increased, the share provided by local governments has decreased, and the federal share has varied within a range of 6.0% to 12.7%. The primary source of local revenues for public elementary and secondary education is the property tax, while state revenues are raised from a variety of sources, primarily personal and corporate income and retail sales taxes, a variety of “excise” taxes such as those on tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, and lotteries in several states.