Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made it clear, appearing before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Tuesday, that she sees no connection between school funding and school performance. As evidence, she criticized the Obama Administration's $7 billion grant program to improve struggling schools, an effort that yielded no significant impacts in test scores or graduation rates.
"The notion that spending more money is going to bring about different results is ill-placed and ill-advised," DeVos said in an exchange with Louisiana Republican John Kennedy.
This is a decades-old debate in education.
To be sure, spending more in troubled schools won't automatically lead to better student outcomes. But, when the dollars are spent wisely and consistently, research suggests, they can have a profound effect in the classroom.
Last year, as part of the School Money project, the NPR Ed Team collaborated with 20 reporters across the country to explore how states pay for their schools and to answer some fundamental questions, including this one: "Can More Money Fix America's Schools?"
With that very question back in the headlines, we thought we'd revisit what we came up with.