Money Clearly Matters
The question “Does school spending make a difference?” is often debated in policy circles. Earlier this year, for instance, George Mason University economics professor Walter Williams argued in a column that additional education funding would not increase student achievement. "More school resources will produce disappointing results as they have in the past," Williams wrote.
But a growing body of evidence demonstrates that additional education funding makes an important and enduring difference for students in low-income schools. A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research provides the latest support for this idea, arguing that investing more money in low-income districts leads to significant increases in student outcomes.
In the report, the researchers showed that state spending on low-income students predicted a significant increase in a student's future earnings, with a return on investment of around 40 percent over a student's lifetime.