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Developments in School Finance, 1997- Does Money Matter?
Using Cost and Need Adjustments to Improve the Measurement of School Finance Equity

About the Authors

David Grissmer Lauri Peternick and Becky A. Smerdon

American Institutes for Research

William Fowler, Jr.

David H. Monk

Cornell University


Lauri Peternick is a Research Scientist at the American Institutes for Research. Her areas of specialization include education finance and organizational behavior. She is presently finishing her doctoral thesis on the variation of site-based decision making within a single school district, from the University of Chicago. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Columbia University and a Master's Degree in Education Policy Analysis from Stanford University. In addition to her work on equity litigation, and cost-of-education indexes, she has presented, written and co-authored papers on student-level resource cost models, site-based decision making and school-level data collection. Her most recent article, "Site-Based Budgeting in Fort Worth, Texas" appeared in the spring 1998 issue of the Journal of Education Finance.

Becky Smerdon is a Research Scientist at the American Institutes for Research. Her areas of specialization include educational equity and school organization. She has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Michigan in Political Science and History, and a Master's Degree in Educational Foundations and Policy. She is presently finishing her doctoral thesis titled "The Effect of High School Membership on Student's Academic Development: Implications for Students At Risk of Educational Failure," from the University of Michigan. She has presented, co-authored, and written papers on classroom instruction, educational equity and school organization.

William J. Fowler, Jr. is the director of the Education Finance Statistical Center (EFSC) at the (NCES). Dr. Fowler received the Outstanding Service Award of the American Education Finance Association in 1997, and served on its Board of Directors from 1992 to 1995. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Education Finance. Dr. Fowler is a graduate of Columbia University with a doctorate in education (1977).

David H. Monk is professor of educational administration and chair of the Department of Education at Cornell University. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and has taught in a visiting capacity at the University of Rochester and the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France.

Monk is the author of Educational Finance: An Economic Approach and Raising Money for Education: A Guide to the Property Tax (with Brian O. Brent) as well as numerous articles in scholarly journals. He serves on the editorial boards of The Economics of Education Review, The Journal of Education Finance, Educational Policy, and the Journal of Research in Rural Education. He consults widely on matters related to educational productivity and the organizational structuring of schools and school districts and is a Past President of the American Education Finance Association.



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