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Investing So Schools Work

Recognizing the need for new estimates on how much school funding is adequate for Pennsylvania school districts, Research for Action commissioned an independent project based on the research of national school funding experts, Picus Odden & Associates. Three Pennsylvania school districts and their respective communities participated in the Investing So Schools Work study. Picus Odden found evidence of inadequate state funding in each participating district:

  • Butler Area School District — 16% adequacy gap
  • Chambersburg Area School District — 17% adequacy gap
  • Upper Darby School District — 22% adequacy gap

Picus Odden concluded that “If such funds were provided and used as the [model] indicates, the state could reasonably expect significant overall improvements in student achievement and reductions in the achievement gaps linked to student demographics.”

The linked report provides a full description of the project and detailed findings of the study.  Also linked below is a four-page summary of the project, including high-level findings for each participating school district.

SUMMARY: Investing So Schools Work

Additional school districts that wish to participate in the study and use the Picus Odden model to calculate whether they have funding gaps are encouraged to contact Research for Action at

This project was funded with generous support from the William Penn Foundation. The opinions expressed in the reports are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the William Penn Foundation.