Dr. Roza says more money can help schools, but need to spend it smarter

January 28, 2013

Professor Roza responds below to my blog post about her valuable testimony before the Senate K12 Education Committee.  She provides a link to it.  Her full presentation is well worth watching.  --Liv

Having just read this blog's coverage of my testimony to the Senate K12 committee last week, I feel the description mischaracterized my key message on school finance in Washington state. Liv Finne has given me the chance to post this clarification on her blog. The data chart on the poor relationship between spending and outcomes was evidence on the need to think differently about how to structure education funding going forward in order to get the best outcome for our students. Given the landmark McCleary decision, the state now has the opportunity to rethink how new funds will be applied in the coming years in the state's schools. In my testimony, which you can watch here, you'll see that I challenge the committee to seek a finance formula that builds on the many strong results already evident in parts of our system, and that lays the foundation for better linkages between spending and outcomes now and in the years to come.  

Pointing out the disconnect between spending and outcomes wasn't meant to imply funds can't help our school children. Part of what we see in that graph are examples of terrific outcomes in many parts of our state that could help point the way for all schools. Rather, the data provide an important perspective as we build a more productive education system that does a better job of connecting spending to outcomes. In fact, doing so just may be the best way to convince voters to spend more on schooling over the long run.

Marguerite Roza


Yes, I watched the

Yes, I watched the presentation. Benefits have gone from 22% to 30% in recent years, of state funds for teachers.

Now I just watched a clip from the Hoover Institue by Joshua Rauh http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SS4FlZr1ZI. Which I found to be very eloquently stated.

I am wondering in Dr. Roza's figure if any of the funds in that 30% goes to pay current retirees in an underfunded pension model? If so, I would say let's isolate current benefits from the funds being used to make up unfunded promises of the past. Unfortunately the assumption of a steady 8% return, did not happen.

Look the current issue of Boeing vs. SPEEA and the sticking point of defined benefit vs. defined contribution pensions.