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Pooya Almasi

David S. Knight, Pooya Almasi, Jinseok Shin, Julia Duncheon.

A stable learning environment is critical to high school reforms aimed at promoting postsecondary educational success. High teacher attrition can disrupt stable learning environments by uprooting student-teacher relationships and harming school climate. Educational leaders need greater understanding of how college readiness reforms alter learning environments generally, and teacher retention in particular. We study teacher turnover in two Texas College and Career Readiness School Models (CCRSM), called Early College High Schools and inclusive Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Academies. We find (a) CCRSM schools have lower teacher turnover compared to traditional public high schools, (b) charter versions of CCRSM schools have higher turnover, but (c) non-CCRSM charters have the highest overall teacher turnover. We discuss implications for improving high school-based college readiness reforms.     

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David S. Knight, Pooya Almasi, JoLynn Berge.

In this forthcoming book chapter, the authors provide an in-depth description of the history and current issues pertaining to public school finance in Washington State, including how recent federal stimulus funding impacted resource levels. The state uses a resource-based funding model, where the amount of funds each school district receives is based on the district’s enrollment level and a series of staffing ratios and salary schedules. In contrast, most U.S. states use a simpler, dollar-based funding formula that determines district funding levels using a per-student dollar amount. Dollar-based funding models typically include student weights that drive more state funds to school districts with greater need. Washington’s resource-based model does not have weights and provides approximately equal per-pupil state funding regardless of local need. When combined with the state’s local tax revenues, Washington’s K-12 finance system provides higher per-pupil funding levels to districts serving wealthier student populations. The system creates racial funding gaps that systematically disadvantage Latinx and Pacific Islander students. Federal COVID-19 stimulus funds were allocated progressively with respect to student income level; however, these funds are temporary, and districts may need to reduce budgets or identify additional funds once the federal stimulus is expended. The chapter concludes with recommendations for further reading.

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