The Big Bet on Adding Staff to Improve Schools Is Breaking the Bank: How Can We Do Right by Students and the Budget Alike?

by Marguerite Roza
Thursday, January 23, 2020


By going all-in on increasing education staffing, we have crowded out other potential investments that can positively impact student learning, like raising salaries, adding learning time, or adopting different education delivery models. Because school funds are inherently constrained, competing strategies should be evaluated based on which can do the most for students with the limited dollars at hand. Rather than looking for any single big bet, education leaders should weigh the trade-offs of cost-equivalent options and intentionally choose an array of investment strategies—a set of better bets for the dollar, with an emphasis on staffing choices—customized to local needs.

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About the Author

Marguerite Roza, PhD, is a research professor at Georgetown University and director of the Edunomics Lab, a research center focused on exploring and modeling education finance policy and practice. She leads the McCourt School of Public Policy’s Certificate in Education Finance program, which equips participants with practical skills in strategic fiscal management, policy analysis, and educational leadership.

About the Author