Conducting Research in Education Finance: Methods, Measurement, and Policy Perspectives

Education in the U.S. is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that encompasses preschool, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary institutions. Tax revenues from the local, state, and federal levels combine to support education across tens of thousands of communities nationwide. In particular, public elementary and secondary schools are charged with educating all children regardless of the challenges and additional costs incurred to ensure equality of educational opportunity. At the same time, many higher education institutions struggle to provide access to families and students of modest economic means by controlling tuition increases without compromising the quality of education students receive. However, tax revenues are limited and must be divided among a host of other public services we value as a society. The role of research in education finance is one that systematically analyzes the equity, adequacy, efficiency, accountability, and stability of education funding so that legislators, policymakers, educators, parents, communities, and other stakeholders can make informed decisions on how best to allocate and deploy fiscal resources to achieve multiple and sometimes competing educational goals. This series is designed to address the challenging issues raised above.