Those are some of the key findings of a new research report released today by the
The report, "Budget cuts, student poverty, and test scores: Examining the evidence," available on PSEA's website (http://www.psea.org/uploadedFiles/LegislationAndPolitics/Key_Issues/Report-BudgetCutsStudentPovertyAndTestScores-August2014.pdf), relies on data from the
"The school funding crisis is hurting every school district and every student in
According to PSEA's new report:
* State funding cuts to the most impoverished school districts averaged more than three times the size of the cuts for districts with the lowest average child poverty.
* The ratio of students to teachers increased more among the districts with higher poverty rates than it did among those with lower rates.
* Reading scores from the state-mandated Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) in grades 3 to 6 dropped across all school districts; however, the decline was steepest among the most impoverished districts.
* PSSA math scores in grades 3 to 6 also dropped across all school districts, with an even steeper decline among poorer districts.
* In third-grade reading, scores declined across all school districts, with the greatest declines in the poorest districts.
* These findings are consistent with other research showing school funding cuts increased in magnitude along with school poverty.
PSSA test scores are only one indicator of student achievement, but they are an important one, Crossey noted. Policymakers should take note of this decline in PSSA scores and respond with policies that will lift student achievement.
PSEA's new report confirms findings from research from other organizations, suggesting that none of
Crossey was a special education teacher in the
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