Over the last 25 years, Texas public schools have undergone comprehensive reform, and state funding has increased significantly. To determine what role funding has played in improving student performance and whether resources really matter, the Foundation commissioned the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University to develop a model for evaluating spending and achievement. Some results are surprising. Increasing total district spending and across-the-board teacher pay raises do not increase passing rates on state assessments. However, increases in instructional spending do pay off in higher student performance. The findings suggest Texas school districts could improve student performance by reordering educational and financial priorities.

School district rankings generated for this study are available for download.