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Administrative Spending

One of the most common criticisms of public schools in the United States is that they are “inefficient” and overly bureaucratic, with too many resources devoted to administrative bloat instead of instruction and students. In several states, such concerns have resulted in policies that limit administrative or noninstructional spending (or, conversely, require a minimum share of the budget to be spent on classroom instruction). However, one must first define and measure administrative spending, which, as discussed in the first section below, is not always a straightforward task. This entry explores some of the measurement issues that arise when policymakers try to restrict the share of spending on administrative versus classroom purposes. Next, there is a review of the research on whether such spending should ...

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