Educational Inequality and School Finance

Educational Inequality and School Finance Why Money Matters for America's Students

Bruce D. Baker
paper, 288 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2018
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-242-3
Price: $36.00

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Pub. Date: October 2018
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-244-7

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In Educational Inequality and School Finance, Bruce D. Baker offers a comprehensive examination of how US public schools receive and spend money. Drawing on extensive longitudinal data and numerous studies of states and districts, he provides a vivid and dismaying portrait of the stagnation of state investment in public education and the continuing challenges of achieving equity and adequacy in school funding.


In this significant contribution to our understanding of school finance, Bruce Baker draws on his many years of research to destroy the myth that money in education doesn’t matter, and convincingly argues that equitable and adequate funding are prerequisites for an effective education system. Filled with descriptive tables and graphs, as well as careful analysis of specific claims, the book provides a solid grounding in the conceptual and technical issues related to school funding. It should be in the hands of all state education policy makers, education reporters, and anyone who seriously cares about inequality in public education. — Helen F. Ladd, Susan B. King Professor Emerita of Public Policy and Economics, Sanford School, Duke University

This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about public education. Baker presents compelling evidence that challenges conventional assumptions and assertions that school spending doesn’t matter. His analysis reveals that school spending is, in fact, related to educational resources and outcomes, and offers a set of concrete policy recommendations for improving educational opportunities and, ultimately, promoting a more equitable and just society. — Jennifer King Rice, dean and professor, College of Education, University of Maryland

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About the Author

Bruce D. Baker is a professor in the Department of Educational Theory, Policy and Administration at Rutgers Graduate School of Education in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He previously served on the faculty at the University of Kansas from 1997 through 2008. In addition to publishing numerous articles, chapters, and a textbook on school finance, he has testified on school funding inequities and inadequacies in state and federal courts. He has also worked with state legislatures and boards of education in Kansas, Texas, Missouri, and Maryland to inform and reform various aspects of state school finance systems. He blogs at and can be found on Twitter @schlfinance101.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

E-book available through online booksellers

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