American Institutes for Research Experts Present Findings from Four Studies Aimed at Addressing California's Education Needs

Washington, D.C. - Experts for the American Institutes for Research conducted studies on four issues - the cost of providing an adequate education, special education costs, extraordinarily successful schools and charter schools - as part of an unprecedented "Getting Down to Facts" research project conducted by the nation's leading universities and research institutions for policymakers in California.

The project was requested by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Committee on Education Excellence, Senate pro Tem Don Perata, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell and former Education Secretary Alan Bersin. Funding was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation and the Stuart Foundation.

The project, which began in 2005, examines three questions: What do California school finance and governance systems look like today? How can we use the resources that we have more effectively to improve student outcomes? To what extent are additional resources needed so that California's students can meet the goals that we have set for them?

The AIR reports are entitled: "Successful California Schools in the Context of Educational Adequacy"; "Charter Schools in California: A Review of Their Autonomy and Resource Allocation Practices"; "Considering Special Education Adequacy in California" and "Efficiency and Adequacy in California School Finance: A Professional Judgment Approach".

AIR's work was conducted by researchers based in the nonprofit organization's Palo Alto, Calif., office. The reports are available on AIR's Web site, www.air.org.

About AIR

AIR, established in 1946 with headquarters in Washington, D.C., is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research on important social issues and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity.

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