Are You Strategically Allocating Resources to Support Teaching and Learning?
The purposeful and practical allocation of resources to support equitable access to high-quality learning opportunities is a major component of education policy at the federal, state, and local levels. Leaders at all levels of the education are charged with making decisions about how to effectively distribute and leverage resources to support teaching and learning. Resource allocation consists of more than assigning dollar amounts to particular schools or programs. Equally important is the examination of the ways in which those dollars are translated into actions that address expressed educational goals at various educational levels. In this respect, leaders are concerned not only with the level of resources and how they are distributed across districts, schools, and classrooms, but also with how these investments translate into improved learning.
It’s critical for resource allocation practices to reflect an understanding of the imperative to eliminate existing inequities and close the achievement gap. All too often, children who are most in need of support and assistance attend schools that have higher staff turnover, less challenging curricula, less access to appropriate materials and technology, and poorer facilities.
Below, we give a quick breakdown to serve as a handy guide in thinking about what school districts can look like and what their spread of resources looks like:
1. Rural Districts
Cultural Diversity of Students: Low in diversity, but diversity growing.
Socioeconomic Status (SES) of Parents: Poverty an issue in many areas.
District Resources: Resources limited. Districts smaller, less complex; innovation and change easier to accomplish.
Cultural Diversity of Students: Intermediate in diversity; many minority professionals.
Socioeconomic Status (SES) of Parents: Generally high SES, but can vary.
District Resources: Resources generally good due to high tax base.
Cultural Diversity of Students: High in diversity, both in terms of numbers and types of diversity.
Socioeconomic Status (SES) of Parents: Poverty is a major issue for many students, but this can vary from school to school.
District Resources: Large bureaucracy and resources vary from school to school.
What kind of district do you work in? Understanding the makeup of the area in which you teach will help you better understand what resources you have (or don’t have) at your disposal and the backgrounds of the pupils you’ll be serving.