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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