Stretching the School Dollar

Stretching the School Dollar How Schools and Districts Can Save Money While Serving Students Best

Edited by Frederick M. Hess and Eric Osberg
Pub. Date: September 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-391-2
paper, 360 Pages
Pub. Date: September 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-64-8
Price: $34.00

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Simultaneous pressures to reduce costs and increase student achievement have never been greater than they are today. Not only is cost-cutting essential in this era of tightened resources, argue Hess and Osberg, but eliminating inefficient spending is critical for freeing up resources to drive school reform.


Stretching the School Dollar is the right book at the right time. It offers research-based thinking and real options to school leaders facing tough budgetary choices in today’s economy. The book’s detailed examples—how to analyze financial data, make the best use of teachers’ skills, and harness the new technologies, for example—provide a road map to economic reform that enhances, rather than obstructs, student learning. — Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, American Association of School Administrators

Stretching the School Dollar arrives at a time when it is urgently needed. It is ideal for school district and state leaders who are interested in—even desperate to know—how our school systems can do more with less. It offers practical recommendations for cutting costs in ways that avoid damage to school programming as well as more dramatic and innovative ways to re-engineer how we ‘do school.’ If you are ready to meet your fiscal commitments while providing a world-class education to your students, this is the book for you. — Deborah A. Gist, Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education

Bringing together thought and ‘action’ leaders, Hess and Osberg’s new book provides ideas tested in the crucible of the public square. Coming at a time when taxpayers are asking superintendents to produce quantum leaps in student performance while dramatically reducing the resources to accomplish such feats, this book will be required reading. — Dr. Jose M. Torres, Superintendent of Schools, School District U-46, Elgin, Illinois

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About the Editors

Frederick M. Hess is a resident scholar and the director of education policy studies at AEI, executive editor of Education Next, and author of the Education Week blog “Rick Hess Straight Up.” His many books include Education Unbound (ASCD, 2010), Common Sense School Reform (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Revolution at the Margins (Brookings Institution Press, 2002), and Spinning Wheels (Brookings Institution Press, 1998). His work appears in scholarly and more popular outlets, such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Education Review, Social Science Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, Chronicle of Higher Education, U.S. News and World Report, Washington Post, and National Review. He serves on the review board for the Broad Prize in Urban Education and on the boards of directors for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and the American Board for the Certification of Teaching Excellence. A former high school social studies teacher, Hess teaches or has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University, and Harvard University.

Eric Osberg is the vice president and treasurer of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He is also a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is primarily responsible for financial and managerial issues at Fordham, and also works on policy projects related to school finance. From 1997 to 2000, Osberg worked for Capital One Financial in Vienna, Virginia, where he helped develop the company’s telecommunications line of business, America One.