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How Money Matters: The Effect of School District Spending on Academic Achievement

Harold Wenglinsky
Sociology of Education
Vol. 70, No. 3 (Jul., 1997), pp. 221-237
DOI: 10.2307/2673210
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2673210
Page Count: 17
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How Money Matters: The Effect of School District Spending on Academic Achievement
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Abstract

Because of the prestige of the Coleman Report, few sociologists of education assert that school spending is associated with students' achievement. Instead, most either emphasize the influence of school social environment or question the ability of schools to make any difference. The study presented here applied LISREL to a new database synthesized from the 1992 National Assessment of Educational Progress in mathematics for eighth graders and the Common Core of Data for the universe of U.S. school districts to test the hypothesis that school spending is associated with achievement. It found that per-pupil expenditures for instruction and the administration of school districts are associated with achievement because both result in reduced class size, which raises achievement.

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