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Jeffrey A. Owings,
Acting Associate Commissioner
Elementary/Secondary and Libraries Studies Division

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) commissioned the papers in 1997-98 to address those educational finance issues of consuming interest to the education finance community. These papers address advances in measuring education inflation and adjusting for it; the emergence of a new focus upon spending at the school level; new, private sources of funding for public education; and a review of the state of the art of assessing educational productivity. The first two papers continue the NCES tradition of commissioning papers to address the measurement problems of the education finance research community. The other papers examine the relationship between school district and school spending, and private sources of funding public education of which surprisingly little is known. The final paper examines the existing attempts to estimate the cost of educational outcomes, and the implications for policymakers and researchers.

This compilation of papers is the fourth in the renewal of this series, which previously was discontinued in 1977. The papers are intended to promote the exchange of ideas among researchers and policymakers. Because the views are those of the authors, the papers may provoke discussion, replications, replies and refutations. If so, the publication will have accomplished its task, which is to raise the awareness of leading research in education finance.

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