Improving Student Learning When Budgets Are Tight

Improving Student Learning When Budgets Are Tight

School Finance

© 2012 | 208 pages | Corwin

A how-to manual for achieving excellence despite budget cuts

How do you stay focused on increasing student learning when budget cuts threaten everything you are striving for? This book offers a comprehensive framework to enhance student achievement in good times and in bad. School reform expert Allan R. Odden outlines a school improvement action plan focused sharply on student learning and then shows how to target resources to implement each strategy in that plan. More than just a "theory" book, this text describes concrete, specific actions that can be taken immediately. Key strategies include

  • Using data to support boosting student performance
  • Focusing on effective instruction
  • Setting goals to drive resource allocation priorities
  • Establishing priorities for situations that require budget cuts
  • Hiring top teachers and providing ongoing professional development
  • Providing needed technology resources

Educators will find a wide range of real-life examples of schools and districts that have implemented these strategies and significantly improved student learning. Also included is research-based guidance for optimizing teacher and principal talent, teacher recruiting and hiring, online learning, and more. This book successfully communicates many years of work and offers well- grounded advice that will help educators move from financial frustration to effective action.

List of Tables
About the Author
1. A Plan of Action: Turning Around Low-Performing and Enhancing High-Performing Schools
A Strategic Approach to Using the Education Dollar  
A Plan of Action for Dramatically Improving Student Performance  
2. The Resource Needs of the Plan of Action
Details of the Resource Needs of the Plan of Action  
Example of a High-Spending District That Could Cut Spending  
Linking Table 2.1 to School Finance Adequacy  
3. Targeting Resources to Student Learning When Budgets Are Tight
Understand and Resist the Cost Increase Pressures on Schools  
An Example of Strategic Resource Reallocation for a Midwestern Middle School  
More Detail on Strategic Budgeting  
4. Recruiting, Developing, and Compensating Top Educator Talent: Local Practices and Supporting State Policies
Acquiring, Developing, and Retaining Teacher Talent  
Teacher Salary Structures  
Educator Pensions  
5. Computers and Technology in Education: Costs and Online Options
Costs of Technology Software and Hardware  
Using Information Technologies for Instruction  
6. When Budget Cuts Are Necessary
Cost Pressures, Goals, and Principles to Guide Strategic Budgeting  
Ensuring a Solid Talent Foundation in Tight Fiscal Times  
Engaging in Strategic Budgeting  
Key features
  • The book will be anchored in a "Plan of Action" about how schools can improve, will include multiple, specific ideas for better resource use, and will discuss how these local actions can be reinforced or structured by state policies and regulations.
  • It will address how to set priorities for situations that require budget cuts, which is the situation for many districts and schools around the country and will discuss multiple possibilities both for cutting back budgets in strategic ways and for targeting resources to the all the elements of the Plan of Action to dramatically improve student learning – regardless of the budget context.
  • It will identify 10-12 strategies that have emerged from a wide range of literature, including the turnaround literature from the last few years.
  • It will summarize new approaches for how schools and districts can acquire the teacher, principal and central office talent needed to implement rigorous, comprehensive, robust and effective educational improvement strategies in an economically stressed climate.

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: A Plan of Action

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ISBN: 9781452217086

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