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Putting More Money Into the Classroom

A vital first step towards fixing our public schools.

K-12 school spending has increased 340% since 1960, even when controlling for inflation, but student learning and teacher pay remain at troublingly low levels.12

Only about 40% of the 4.6 million adults added to school districts since 1960 have been teachers.

Teachers’ paychecks went further nearly 40 years ago than they do today due to rising inflation and flat pay.

Fourth-grade reading scores have not improved in more than three decades.

education tower


K-12 Spending Transparency

Education spending transparency allows parents, school boards, and taxpayers to stand up to unaccountable bureaucracies that waste money and fail to educate children.

By creating a window into each purchase that a school makes, states empower parents to advocate for wasting less and putting more money into higher teacher pay and other research-backed solutions that are proven to improve student learning outcomes.45

The increased number of administrators (172%), support staff (246%), and instructional aides (1438%) has not improved student learning outcomes—and has made it nearly impossible to increase pay that would attract and retain more high-quality teachers.6

Publishing school-by-school information will help ensure that taxpayers know how their money is being spent—and can hold schools accountable.


Each state sets up a public checkbook portal for local schools to publish detailed information about every dollar they spend.

Local officials, parents, and members of the public would have immediate access to information on how every dollar is spent, whether an administrator’s salary, office supplies, or new curricula.

This policy can be even more effective when paired with mandatory training for superintendents, principals, and school board members so that they understand the information and what actions they can take when they find something concerning.


When communities come together, armed with facts about how public-school dollars are spent, parents can hold schools accountable and advocate for proven strategies that improve student outcomes and compensate teachers fairly.