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Infrastructure Financing and Student Achievement

Facilities, or school buildings and grounds, are the largest component of what is, generally, referred to as school infrastructure. This entry describes how school districts finance school infrastructure before reviewing how such spending relates to educational outcomes. Most state school finance systems have historically addressed wealth-based inequities in current spending while largely overlooking similar disparities in spending on infrastructure and facilities. A primary source of this discrepancy is the unsurprising focus of policymakers and school officials on spending within the classroom, primarily on teacher compensation, rather than for the physical classrooms themselves. Another reason for focusing on current spending activities, as opposed to capital, is the nature of public budgeting, which centers on matching sufficient revenues to desired expenditures on an annual basis. While ...

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