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Improving Student Learning When Budgets Are Tight

This how-to manual for achieving excellence despite budget cuts provides a school improvement action plan and shows how to target resources to implement that plan.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781452217086
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2012
  • Page Count: 208
  • Publication date: February 07, 2012

Price: $42.95

Price: $42.95
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A how-to manual for achieving excellence despite budget cuts

How do you stay focused on increasing student learning when budget cuts threaten everything you are striving for? This book offers a comprehensive framework to enhance student achievement in good times and in bad. School reform expert Allan R. Odden outlines a school improvement action plan focused sharply on student learning and then shows how to target resources to implement each strategy in that plan. More than just a "theory" book, this text describes concrete, specific actions that can be taken immediately. Key strategies include

  • Using data to support boosting student performance
  • Focusing on effective instruction
  • Setting goals to drive resource allocation priorities
  • Establishing priorities for situations that require budget cuts
  • Hiring top teachers and providing ongoing professional development
  • Providing needed technology resources

Educators will find a wide range of real-life examples of schools and districts that have implemented these strategies and significantly improved student learning. Also included is research-based guidance for optimizing teacher and principal talent, teacher recruiting and hiring, online learning, and more. This book successfully communicates many years of work and offers well- grounded advice that will help educators move from financial frustration to effective action.

Key features

  • The book will be anchored in a "Plan of Action" about how schools can improve, will include multiple, specific ideas for better resource use, and will discuss how these local actions can be reinforced or structured by state policies and regulations.
  • It will address how to set priorities for situations that require budget cuts, which is the situation for many districts and schools around the country and will discuss multiple possibilities both for cutting back budgets in strategic ways and for targeting resources to the all the elements of the Plan of Action to dramatically improve student learning – regardless of the budget context.
  • It will identify 10-12 strategies that have emerged from a wide range of literature, including the turnaround literature from the last few years.
  • It will summarize new approaches for how schools and districts can acquire the teacher, principal and central office talent needed to implement rigorous, comprehensive, robust and effective educational improvement strategies in an economically stressed climate.


Allan R. Odden photo

Allan R. Odden

Allan Odden is Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; he also is Co-Director of the Strategic Management of Human Capital (SMHC) in public education and Co-Director of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE). CPRE is a consortium of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pennsylvania, Harvard, Michigan, Northwestern, Teachers College-Columbia University, and Stanford Universities. He is an international expert on education finance, effective resource allocation and use, resource reallocation, the strategic management of human capital in education, teacher compensation, school-based management, and educational policy development and implementation. He consults regularly with states and districts on these issues.

His most recent books include School Finance: A Policy Perspective (McGraw Hill, 2008, 4th edition), with Lawrence O. Picus and How to Create World Class Teacher Compensation (Freeload Press, 2007) with Marc Wallace. Other books include Paying Teachers for What They Know and Do: New and Smarter Compensation Strategies to Improve Schools (Corwin Press, 1997, 2nd Edition, 2002) with Carolyn Kelley; Reallocating Resources: How to Boost Student Achievement Without Spending More (Corwin, 2001) with Sarah Archibald; School Finance: A Policy Perspective (McGraw Hill, 1992, 2nd Edition, 2000, 3rd Edition 2004) co-authored with Lawrence Picus; School-Based Finance (Corwin Press, 1999), edited with Margaret Goertz; Financing Schools for High Performance: Strategies for Improving the Use of Educational Resources (Jossey Bass, 1998) with Carolyn Busch; Educational Leadership for America’s Schools (McGraw Hill, 1995); Rethinking School Finance: An Agenda for the 1990s (Jossey-Bass, 1992); Education Policy Implementation (State University of New York Press, 1991); and School Finance and School Improvement: Linkages for the 1980s (Ballinger, 1983).

He was a mathematics teacher and curriculum developer in New York City’s East Harlem for five years. He received his PhD and MA degrees from Columbia University, a Masters of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary and his BS in aerospace engineering from Brown University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Tables



About the Author

1. A Plan of Action: Turning Around Low-Performing and Enhancing High-Performing Schools

A Strategic Approach to Using the Education Dollar

A Plan of Action for Dramatically Improving Student Performance


2. The Resource Needs of the Plan of Action

Details of the Resource Needs of the Plan of Action

Example of a High-Spending District That Could Cut Spending

Linking Table 2.1 to School Finance Adequacy


3. Targeting Resources to Student Learning When Budgets Are Tight

Understand and Resist the Cost Increase Pressures on Schools

An Example of Strategic Resource Reallocation for a Midwestern Middle School

More Detail on Strategic Budgeting


4. Recruiting, Developing, and Compensating Top Educator Talent: Local Practices and Supporting State Policies

Acquiring, Developing, and Retaining Teacher Talent

Teacher Salary Structures

Educator Pensions


5. Computers and Technology in Education: Costs and Online Options

Costs of Technology Software and Hardware

Using Information Technologies for Instruction


6. When Budget Cuts Are Necessary

Cost Pressures, Goals, and Principles to Guide Strategic Budgeting

Ensuring a Solid Talent Foundation in Tight Fiscal Times

Engaging in Strategic Budgeting






Price: $42.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.