Education Policy Task Force
Disparate Funding for Public Education Impacts Transformation and Academic Success
Friday, May 18
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 will highlight various options states can implement to address the critical budget deficits.
Ulrich Boser, Senior Fellow
Center for American Progress
Chris Tessone, Director of Finance and Operations
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Key issues to be discussed:
Disparity in funding formulas, allocations and revenue has separated local school districts into “haves” and “have nots.”
Expenditures for school funding vary greatly state to state.
Real estate/property taxes and teacher salaries play a part in local budgets.
Variations in spending per student impacts educational opportunities provided.
Rural versus urban spending tends to vary widely.
States must look at a variety of options to address the budget deficits.
Consideration of Suggested State Legislation & Policy Resolutions
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. Back to speakers.
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. Back to speakers.