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Do high performing schools use resources differently than low performing schools? What are the connections between K-12 school funding and academic performance? Today several states (e.g., Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, etc.) are exploring answers to these questions as they attempt to fund schools adequately and in more efficient ways. The research literature from early production function studies (e.g., Brown & Saks, 1975; Hanushak, 1979, 1989; Harnisch, 1987) provides some partial answers, but some of the most recent studies have unearthed some conflicting results (e.g., Baum, 1986; Hedges, Laine, & Greenwald, 1994; Monk, 1994; Wenglinsky, 1997). In addition, few of the studies have examined rural schools. The purpose of the series of research studies described in this symposium was to address the questions above by examining the characteristics of high and low performing elementary, middle and high schools in a predominantly rural northeastern state.


Paper presented at the annual conference of the New England Educational Research Organization Portland, Maine



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