Analyzes small school design elements driving extra per-student spending, needed start-up and ramp-up investments, and impact on facility use and enrollment projections. Offers a tool for quantifying resource use and suggestions for effective allocation.
- Observation: Districts spent 10 to 20 percent more per pupil on small high schools than they did on large high schools for two primary reasons: Small high schools tended to be staffed and run like large high schools and districts deliberately awarded additional staff to small schools above required staffing levels.
- Observation: How much money districts spend may not be as important as how they spend it. What matters is that small schools are created by design and not by default.
- Observation: To create successful small schools, district decision makers must move beyond using their traditional resource allocation policies and practices toward strategies that ensure sufficient and equitable resource allocations across schools and strategic organization of school-level resources to improve instruction and better support teachers and students.
- Observation: The "Small School Spending" (SSS) tool allows district and school leaders to input current district practice (e.g., number of guidance counselors allocated to each school) and change the assumptions to model different scenarios in terms of school size, staffing ratios, etc.