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Stretching the School Dollar: How Schools and Districts Can Save Money While Serving Students Best [Paperback]

by Frederick M. Hess, Editor, Eric Osberg
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 7, 2010 1934742643 978-1934742648
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. This provocative book brings together a dynamic group of authors scholars, consultants, journalists, and entrepreneurs who offer fresh insights into an issue no school or district can afford to ignore.

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Stretching the School Dollar: How Schools and Districts Can Save Money While Serving Students Best + Between Public and Private: Politics, Governance,and the New Portfolio Models for Urban School Reform (Educational Innovations)
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Editorial Reviews


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

About the Author

Frederick M. Hess is director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and executive editor of Education Next. His books include Educational Entrepreneurship: Realities, Challenges, Possibilities and The Future of Educational Entrepreneurship. Eric Osberg is vice president and treasurer of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. His publications include Fund the Child: Tackling Inequity and Antiquity in School Finance.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Education Press (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934742643
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934742648
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

An educator, political scientist and author, Rick Hess studies K-12 and higher education issues. His books include Cage-Busting Leadership, The Same Thing Over and Over, Education Unbound, Common Sense School Reform, Revolution at the Margins, and Spinning Wheels, and he writes the popular Education Week blog "Rick Hess Straight Up." Rick's work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Education Review, Social Science Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, American Politics Quarterly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership, the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, and National Review. Rick serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, on the review boards for the Broad Prize in Urban Education and the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, and on the boards of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and 4.0 SCHOOLS. A former high school social studies teacher, he has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University, and Harvard University. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government, as well as an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum, from Harvard.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book February 10, 2011
Fascinating book. There are controversial ideas, but it challenges us to think creatively and analyze how things are done.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be a must read for school boards and admins January 31, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very interesting and enlightening. We must get school costs under control and school efficiency and effectiveness far better. This book offers ideas that could help do both.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Important and Credible! July 30, 2013
Non-stop increases in national K-12 per-pupil spending has increased inflation-adjusted dollars by one-third since 1995. Funding formulas and myriad state laws and regulations have had enormous impact on spending decisions - eg. most districts follow pay structures that require extra pay for teachers earning additional credits, despite research showing little or no benefit to pupils. Similarly for experience. Layoffs usually are made on a last-in, first-out basis instead of teacher effectiveness. Class sizes are often mandated at the state level, or within a local union contract.

Some more effective options include lengthening school days and the school year - w/o increasing teacher pay, using technology more effectively (eg. computerized 'adaptive learning' systems), providing certain electives such as photography through low-cost recreation centers or community colleges, utilize low-cost college students for online tutoring, requiring greater employee contributions for health care (educators often pay almost nothing for benefits that frequently cover families as well - before and after retirement), and creating incentives for teachers to use fewer sick days (eg. $50 for each day not taken, while eliminating the policy of 'buying back' unused sick leave or vacation time upon retirement).

Some excellent ideas.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opener March 25, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A group of articles that reveal just how dysfunctional spending decision often are in public education. The chapters by Roza, Wilson, and Levenson are particularly valuable.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational Cents and Sense March 6, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent resource in this time of fiscal and educational performance challenges. State governors and union representatives should read it also.
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