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All4Ed’s Latest Report Finds Schools Identified for Support Don’t Always Receive the Support They Need 

Report sheds light on accountability systems and spending in the schools that need it most.

Contact: Enrique A. Chaurand


Phone: 816-825-1072

Washington, DC – Today, All4Ed unveils its latest report, “When Equity is Optional: Does Accountability Drive School Spending?” The report, part of the “When Equity Is Optional” series, investigates the extent to which low-performing schools have access to the extra resources they need to improve school quality and student outcomes. 

Notably, it sheds light on the inadequacy of funding to help schools identified for improvement across nine states by analyzing per-pupil spending in schools before and after their identification. In far too many cases, the lowest-performing schools spent less per pupil, not more, after the state identified them as needing extra support.

Over two decades, states have implemented accountability systems, generated school ratings, and identified schools in need of improvement. However, the report underscores that identifying schools is only the first step; school identification results should prompt states to provide necessary funding, services, and interventions and to address resource equity gaps to better support students. While identified schools generally spent more per pupil at the time of identification, the report finds policymakers often fail to consistently follow-up with those additional resources.

Ziyu Zhou, Research and Data Specialist at All4Ed, emphasizes the importance of adequate funding for school improvement and alignment between accountability results and funding decisions. Zhou states, “Our analysis reveals compelling evidence that funding for school improvement is inadequate to support all identified schools. In order to drive positive changes, accountability systems must ensure all identified schools receive the resources needed for improvement.”

Key Findings:


“Accountability systems can only drive meaningful school improvement if identified schools receive additional resources,” said Anne Hyslop, Director of Policy Development. “Policymakers in Washington and state houses across the country must address the significant gaps in school improvement funding and use school identification results to allocate more resources to the students and communities that need them most.”

To read the full report, please visit