Research Paper Heather Rose

Student Poverty and School Resources
Heather Rose (Affiliate in Education) with graduate researcher Margaret Weston (Education)

This project examines the relationship between student poverty and school resources to determine the extent to which schools with many economically disadvantaged students receive equitable levels of funding to support the needs of these students. The project will build on work these researchers have done in California.

The team will estimate the relationship between student poverty and school revenue in California to see how the implicit funding weights for disadvantaged students have changed over time. Rose and Weston will extend this analysis to all states using the data from National Center for Education Statistics, and will investigate the variation in these implicit funding weights across the states. For example, do states with higher base funding levels or larger populations of disadvantaged students provide less additional funding for disadvantaged students? Rose and Weston will also explore the extent to which cost of living differences exacerbate or mitigate the additional funding received by disadvantaged students. Researchers will also review state funding formulas to determine if they explicitly direct revenue to economically disadvantaged students. Finally, they will review the literature about methods used to estimate the resources needed for disadvantaged students to meet state standards.

This project examines the core research theme of non-traditional safety net programs. Recent studies suggest that the “income achievement gap” is now nearly double the racial achievement gap, and has increased by 30-40 percent over the last 30 years. This then begs the questions whether schools are leaving our poor children behind.