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Reason Foundation

School Spending = Performance?

Lisa Snell
March 6, 2005, 1:52pm

Interesting contrast in how much money is spent by the lowest and highest performing high schools in Houston. The three lowest performing high schools rank first, fourth, and thirteenth in terms of per-pupil spending in the school district. Parents and teachers at these schools have argued that they are low-performing because of a lack of resources. Yet as the Houston Chronicle explains: In contrast, HISD will spend from $500 to nearly $2,000 less per student this year at three of the school district's highest-performing schools: Lamar, Bellaire and Westside. Those schools, where more than three quarters of all seniors score above 1,000 on the SAT, occupy the three lowest spots on HISD's per-pupil funding list. Of course, these low-performing schools have more money because they serve a higher percentage of low-income and minority students. Yet, up to $2,000 more per pupil is a huge bonus for working with low-income children. Just how much more money do you give low-performing schools before expecting student achievement to increase?

Lisa Snell is Director of Education


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