Research Center Plays Key Role in School Study

UT Dallas Experts to Provide Data and Advise Texas Comptroller's Office

Oct. 21, 2009

The UT Dallas Education Research Center has been asked to provide data and technical advice for a state study designed to determine the most effective uses of public education dollars.

The center, which has significant expertise in education data integration and analysis, will work with the Texas Comptroller’s Office on the study, which is required under legislation recently passed by the Texas Legislature.

Joining the Education Research Center will be a select group of national experts in school accountability, statistical methods, psychometrics, and finance. The Comptroller has also enlisted the advice of a group of Texas superintendents in the study’s development and implementation.

“Developing new measures to determine which schools and school districts have achieved the highest performance in both academics and financial efficiency is far too important to be left to a single institution or a few experts.”

Dan O’Brien, director, Texas Schools Project

“Developing new measures to determine which schools and school districts have achieved the highest performance in both academics and financial efficiency is far too important to be left to a single institution or a few experts,” said Dan O’Brien, director of the Texas Schools Project.

“Therefore, we are drawing from the best and most experienced researchers in school finance and student achievement to guide the comptroller’s resource allocation study.”

House Bill 3 requires the comptroller to evaluate existing academic accountability and financial data and to identify potential areas for district and campus improvement. The study is expected to be completed in late 2010, before the next legislative session.

The UT Dallas Education Research Center is managed by Texas Schools Project, one of the premier education research institutions in the country, which is part of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.

In an effort to improve academic achievement and encourage more effective use of public education dollars, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs will conduct a study of school district resource allocation practices that contribute to high academic achievement and cost-effective operations.

The legislation also requires the Comptroller to evaluate the operating cost for each student, the operating cost for each program and the staffing cost for each student.

“Public education spending will continue to grow as our population increases and as state policymakers recognize the important role our schools play in preparing the work force necessary for a strong economy,” Combs said. “This study will be an analysis of what schools are spending and their academic outcomes.” 


Media Contact: Katie Patterson, Education Research Center, (972) 883-6424, katie.patterson@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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