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Spare Some Change: Smarter District Resource Use for Transformational Schools

A Roadmap for Education Reform

Schools across the nation are wrestling with the realities of tight budgets and limited resources. In this report, ERS' Jonathan Travers, Karen Hawley Miles and Genevieve Green identify the characteristics of an effective funding system and the critical design features that help ensure Milwaukee Public Schools’ funding strategy supports high performance across all schools. They address four topics related to strategic school funding:

  • School Funding (particularly weighted student funding; also called student-based budgeting or fair student funding)
  • Teacher Compensation
  • School Design
  • Special Education

The authors also offer insight into the most important policy and funding barriers that state and other non-district stakeholders will need to address for urban districts to successfully transform.


This publication originally appeared as a part of A Roadmap for Education Reform, a key chapter in the publication Pathway to Success For Milwaukee Schools produced by American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and its state-based partner the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. In it, a group of leading educational thinkers uses Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as a prism through which to examine eight blueprints for bold reform that may be applicable to urban districts nationwide.

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