Education Policy Task Force: Disparate Funding for Public Education Impacts Transformation and Academic Success

2012 National Leadership Conference

CSG Education Policy Task Force
Disparate Funding for Public Education Impacts
May 18, 2012

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.

Meeting Summary:

The Education Policy Task Force conducted a policy and business session during the national leadership conference in La Quinta.  The members heard from two speakers on disparate funding for public education and the challenges of implementing transformational strategies in light of challenging economic times.   As stakeholders demand 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, varied funding formulas, allocations and revenue have left many districts fighting for equitable and adequate funding.  Speakers offered state policy ideas such as promoting educational efficiency, reforming school management systems, reporting high-quality data on educational outcomes and encouraging funding policies that direct money to students based on their needs.

Task force members also heard from a representative from Astellas Pharma U.S. as part of the Associates in Action highlight.  Adam Miller shared information on “Science WoRx,” a program designed to help science teachers inspire the next generation of scientists. The program features a hands-on education and mentoring program, an online resource portal and online networking communities. A core component of Science WoRx is Science Pro, an education and mentoring program that connects Astellas scientists with students in the classroom through live demonstrations on human health and science. To fully engage students, the Science Pros illustrate how the scientific method applies to everyday, practical situations and solutions.

The members look forward to additional programming and discussion at the annual meeting in Austin. 

Ulrich Boser, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

  Download the Presentation: "Return on Education Investment" in PDF (without audio) or as a Video (with audio)

Chris Tessone, Director of Finance and Operations, Thomas B. Fordham Institute

  Download the Presentation: "How States Can Stretch the School Dollar" in PDF (without audio) or as a Video (with audio)

Adam Miller, Astellas Pharma U.S. 

  Download the Presentation: "Introduction to Science WoRx" in PDF (without audio) or as a Video (with audio)

Speakers and Presentations:

Ulrich Boser

Ulrich Boser is a senior fellow at Center for American Progress, where he analyzes education, criminal justice and other social policy issues. Prior to joining the Center, Boser was a contributing editor for U.S. News & World Report, special projects director for the Washington Post Express, and research director for Education Week newspaper. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate and Smithsonian.

Boser has written a number of influential reports. His study of school spending included the first-ever attempt to evaluate the productivity of almost every major school district in the country. Hundreds of media outlets covered the release of the report, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Associated Press. Boser also serves as research director of Leaders and Laggards, a joint project of American Progress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute that evaluates state systems of education.

Boser's work has received various awards and citations. He has been an Arthur F. Burns fellow, won the National Award For Education Reporting, and been dubbed a "writer to watch" by Washingtonian magazine. He is also the author of the national best-selling criminal justice book, The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft. Boser has served as a commentator on social policy issues for many media outlets, including CNN, National Public Radio and The New York Times.

Boser graduated with honors from Dartmouth College and lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two daughters.

Chris Tessone
Chris Tessone is the director of finance and operations of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, where he is responsible for overseeing the organization's budget and endowment investments and coordinating many aspects of Fordham's strategy, operations and personnel management. He also works on specific policy projects in governance and school finance and is especially interested in pensions and teacher compensation. In addition, Chris is a Bernard Lee Schwartz Policy Fellow and edits the Stretching the School Dollar blog.

Prior to Fordham, Chris worked in the hospitality industry, including three years as an associate in the Atlanta and Paris offices of the Vagus Group, a boutique management services firm. Chris was an Education Pioneers fellow at the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education during the summer of 2010 consulting on the District's financial products for public charter schools.

Originally hailing from the Land of Lincoln, Chris holds an M.B.A. in Finance and Decision Sciences from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, where he was a Fuqua Scholar, and a B.A. in Russian with College Honors from Knox College. He and his wife live in Silver Spring, Md. 


boser.pdf614.42 KB
miller.pdf475.89 KB
tessone.pdf730.33 KB