Does Money Matter for Schools?

One of the myths perpetrated by the critics of public education is that increasing expenditure does not lead to increased student achievement.

This myth has been debunked by a new study done at the London School of Economics which concludes that increasing expenditure on schools can raise student results, especially for disadvantaged students.

The study found that school expenditure has a consistently positive and significant effect on all national tests taken at the end of primary school and has a higher effect for students who are economically disadvantaged. It suggests that the English policy of increasing school spending over the past few years has been worth the investment.

The study also notes a contrasting effect on student achievement between increasing expenditure on education and increasing parental choice and promoting competition between schools. A previous study using the same data set on primary schools found little evidence of a link between choice and competition and performance in English primary schools. Taken together, the two studies indicate that more traditional resource-based policies have been more successful for raising educational standards in English primary schools than those directed at increasing competition between schools.

The new study is published by the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany

Trevor Cobbold

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