Has More Money Improved School District Performance?

A recent study by the 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education (STEM is short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which is a good cause to use an acronym) looks at the 30 Pennsylvania school districts that improved the most on 11th grade reading and math PSSA test, and the 30 districts that declined the most, over the period 2004 to 2010.

What may surprise some in the study is that increases in school spending were unrelated to changes in results.  In fact, schools that declined actually had higher increases in total per-pupil spending:

No association was found between educational expenditures per pupil and either large gains or losses in scores. In some cases, expenditures were actually found to be higher in districts that had lost the most ground. There are no documented reasons at present that would account for the large gains or losses.

The full study can be found here.

This adds to the evidence that more spending is not a solution to improving education and to the momentum for more parental school choice.