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Abstract/ Summary

Throughout the United States the debate has been frequent, intense, and at times adversarial over how to fund education adequately. Maine has been trying to identify higher performing schools in the hope that practices that contribute to success at higher performing schools can be adapted at similar schools throughout the state. The 1997 establishment of Essential Programs and Services, an adequacy based funding model, has a primary goal to ensure success for all of Maine's children based on generating and distributing funds more equitably throughout the state. However, identifying higher performing schools based on achievement misses inclusion of fiscal responsibility within a school. This study proposes to broaden the definition of higher performing by stipulating that a higher performing school should not be defined by academic achievement and "added value" alone but also on cost efficiency. Maine school administrative units (SAUs) and schools are unique, based on demography, geographic determination, financial resources, and other factors. Keeping in mind that within Maine there is high variation between SAUs and among schools, there still needs to be a means of defining schools that are performing higher than others academically while being cost efficient so that model schools may be identified. (Contains 5 figures and 3 tables.)


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