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April 30, 2013

On April 28, 2013 "Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card" received the Outstanding Policy Report Award from the Education Policy and Politics Division of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The award was given at the association's annual meeting in San Francisco where fourteen thousand education researchers from all over the country gathered to share their work.

The AERA's Outstanding Policy Report Award recognizes the National Report Card for its contribution to the development of educational policy and for fostering dialogue and debate. The report was chosen by the committee for demonstrating excellence in advancing the quality of school finance research and for its success in influencing the public dialogue about fair school funding.

"Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card" is coauthored by Dr. Bruce Baker, of the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, David Sciarra, Esq., Executive Director of the Education Law Center (ELC) and Dr. Danielle Farrie, ELC Research Director. The report, first issued in 2010, is built upon the principle that predictable, stable and equitable state systems of school finance are the essential precondition for the delivery of a high-quality education. Fair school funding is of critical importance to the success of efforts to close persistent achievement gaps among the nation's low income students, English language learners and students with disabilities. The report rates the 50 states on four separate, but interrelated, "fairness indicators" -- funding level, funding distribution, state fiscal effort, and public school coverage.

The report shows that many states do not have school finance systems in place to support and sustain the delivery of high quality education to all students. By uncovering the poor conditions of many of the state's finance systems, the report informs the dialogue of how to improve schools so that all children have the opportunity to leave school ready for college or career. By providing a rigorous, but simply presented analysis the report has become a valuable resource for policymakers, advocates, and parents.

"It is an honor to have the report recognized by the research community", said Dr. Farrie, who presented the findings of the report at the AERA conference this week. "We hope that education researchers, policymakers, and practitioners will continue to use the report to advocate for fair school funding in all fifty states."

Related Stories:
California's Low Level of School Funding Declines
New York School Funding Among Nation's Most Unfair
The Garden State: A Beacon of Educational Equity in the Region
Education Justice Press Contact:
Molly A. Hunter, Esq.
Director, Education Justice
email: mhunter@edlawcenter.org
voice: 973 624-1815 x19

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