Optimize the use of resources to improve student learning—The Three Essentials: Improving Schools

Many districts have limited resources available for discretionary use in supporting improved learning, and as a consequence, schools and principals have limited resources to help them raise student achievement. After accounting for salaries, facilities maintenance, technology needs and transportation, resources that are left for schools and principals to use in addressing critical problems unique to the school, including achievement, promotion rates, graduation rates and school climate, are severely limited. The chief financial officer for one district estimated that schools in his district have discretionary control over only $19 to $20 per student. Some schools receive revenues from parking passes, athletics ticket sales, vending machines or other limited sources.