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Student Outcomes and Spending on Teachers in the Aftermath of Recession

Wall, Howard J. (2022): Student Outcomes and Spending on Teachers in the Aftermath of Recession.

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Abstract

This paper finds a link between the trends in K-12 spending and student success in Missouri after the Great Recession. I find that, for city schools only, changes in English Language Arts and Math proficiency rates for third graders were negatively related to changes in the number of students per teacher. According to my estimates, an increase in the average number of students per teacher in city schools accounted for almost all of the drop in the schools’ average ELA proficiency, and all of the drop in their average Math proficiency. Thus, the evidence indicates that the cuts in spending on teachers in the aftermath of the Great Recession affected student outcomes in city schools, but did little to affect student outcomes in schools in other locales.

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