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Report · June 2004

School Budgets and Student Achievement in California: The Principal’s Perspective

Jon Sonstelie, Peter Richardson, and Heather Rose

School Budgets and Student Achievement in California: The Principals’ Perspective presents the results of school budget workshops with 45 principals from representative schools across the state. Principals were given three different budgets and asked to allocate resources so as to maximize student performance at two schools, one with a more disadvantaged student body than the other. In addition to documenting resource allocation strategies, the report finds that principals associated higher funding levels and student socioeconomic status with better academic performance. It also finds that more than half the principals thought that the disadvantaged school would not meet the state’s rigorous academic standards even with significantly higher budgets. Although allocations and performance predictions differed, the average responses offer tangible and whole representations of what certain funding levels might buy as well as the perceived efficacy of individual resources.


K–12 Education