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In the decades-long legal battles over school funding, different states have taken turns in the national spotlight. All eyes were on Ohio in the late 1990s, for example, after its state Supreme Court ruled on multiple occasions that the K-12 funding system was unconstitutional — due to an overreliance on local property taxes and a failure to deliver a “thorough and efficient system of common schools.”

Over the past six years, most U.S. states have cut per-pupil funding for education, with double-digit reductions not uncommon. And then there is the case of North Dakota. Lawmakers there have taken advantage of the state’s remarkable economic ascent to completely remake how K-12 education is funded. In doing so, the legislature has accomplished what policymakers in many other states have tried but failed to do — take the burden of paying for schools off the backs of local property taxpayers.

Schools Strive to FInd Efficiences, Ways to Improve Academic Output

Unlike other school districts across the country, Clark County, Nev., was bursting at the seams.

Over a 25-year period, the district saw an increase of 200,000 students with a rapidly changing set of demographics. Before school officials knew it, they found themselves operating the fifth-largest district in the United States. Each year, the district added as many as 16 new schools and hired thousands of new teachers and staff to meet the demands of their growing system.

CSG's Deeper Learning Focus Group is meeting this weekend in Boca Raton, Fla. to discuss financial strategies to implement innovation and transformation in K-12 education.  Members represent school administrators, state legislators, state department of education officials, national education agencies, local boards and state board of education members.

Are voters willing to dig a little deeper in their pockets to fund public education? The answer depends entirely where they live. Voters in three states weighed in on the question during Tuesday's election: Arizona, California and South Dakota. In only one state, California, did the measure pass.

In early July, one unusual item came up for bid on the online auction giant eBay. The listing read, “One Slightly Used But Extremely Successful Pennsylvania Public High School.”

The high school in question was The Learning Center, an alternative school in the Neshaminy School District. The district, faced with a $14 million deficit, considered closing the school, according to news reports. The eBay listing—which had bids starting at just under $600,000—offered one lucky buyer naming rights, a large pizza, a coffee mug and the chance to deliver the commencement address.

Policymakers, parents and stakeholders are demanding improvements in public education by raising metrics of academic success, pushing for progress in low performing schools, and raising the bar on teacher and leader effectiveness. Differences in funding formulas, allocations and revenue have created disparate funding across the states. These variations in spending per student impact the educational opportunities provided as states ramp up their educational reform. This session highlighted various options states can implement to address the critical budget deficits.

Policymakers, parents and stakeholders are demanding improvements in public education by raising metrics of academic success, pushing for progress in low performing schools, and raising the bar on teacher and leader effectiveness. Differences in funding formulas, allocations and revenue have created disparate funding across the states. These variations in spending per student impact the educational opportunities provided as states ramp up their educational reform. This session highlighted various options states can implement to address the critical budget deficits.

Spending more on education won’t necessarily result in better student achievement.

That was a message from Ulrich Boser, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, who spoke at the Education Policy Task Force Friday morning. A study from the center looked at productivity in schools across the country.

Policymakers, parents and stakeholders are demanding improvements in public education by raising metrics of academic success, pushing for progress in low performing schools, and raising the bar on teacher and leader effectiveness. Differences in funding formulas, allocations and revenue have created disparate funding across the states. These variations in spending per student impact the educational opportunities provided as states ramp up their educational reform. This session highlighted various options states can implement to address the critical budget deficits.

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