Fights over the role money plays in K-12 education continue across the country, with states like Kansas embroiled in a 9-year lawsuit over education funding and Texas overhauling its school finance system just last month. Moving forward, these discussions should be informed by a new landmark paper from leading education scholar Eric Hanushek. The study analyzes performance data from over 2.7 million students and finds that the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged U.S. students has remained unchanged for nearly 50 years.
During that time, state and federal policymakers implemented education reforms they thought would work. Class sizes decreased by 20 percent, and overall education funding per pupil quadrupled in inflation-adjusted dollars. It is clear that more money alone won’t solve the underlying problems affecting