Project researchers

Bruce Baker is Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. His research focuses on state school finance systems, cost analysis in K12 and Higher Education, teacher and administrator labor markets, and charter school policy. He is author of Educational Inequality and School Finance: Why Money Matters for America’s Students from Harvard Education Press. He has consulted with state legislatures and departments of education in numerous states, including most recently in Maryland and Vermont and has been engaged as an expert witness in litigation over the equity and adequacy of school funding in Kansas, Connecticut, New York and several other states. Since 2009, he has been involved in the production of a national report on school funding indicators which won the 2013 American Educational Research Association’s Division L Policy Report award. His recent work involves developing methods for better understanding and estimating the full costs of providing free community college.

Matthew Di Carlo is a senior fellow at the Albert Shanker Institute in Washington, D.C.  His current research focuses on education policy, including school finance, school segregation, testing and accountability, and teacher compensation. His other projects include research on cross-national political attitudes, work and occupations, and social stratification and inequality. Matt has a Ph.D. in sociology from Cornell University.

Ajay Srikanth is a Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers University Graduate School of Education. His research interests include K-12 education finance for high needs populations, equity for English Language Learners and immigrants, and education law and policy.

Mark Weber is the Special Analyst for Education Policy with the New Jersey Policy Perspective and a lecturer at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education, where he recently earned his PhD. Weber also works as a music teacher in Warren, NJ. His policy work includes many peer-reviewed papers and policy briefs, concentrating on charter schools, school finance, and teacher quality. Weber’s blog, Jersey Jazzman, is read nationally, and his writings on education policy and teaching have appeared in The Washington PostEducation Week, and The PBS News Hour, among other outlets.

The project researchers would also like to acknowledge the ongoing or past contributions of Bilan Jama, Emilee O’Brien, Lauren Schneider, and Vicki Thomas.

Latest News


March 2021: New database of spending adequacy in over 12,000 districts. Read the accompanying research brief, view profiles of individual districts, or download the full dataset.

Latest Annual Report

The Adequacy and Fairness of State School Finance Systems

The third edition of our annual report presenting findings on effort, adequacy, and progressivity in state school finance systems. Published January 2021. Read the report.

Latest Research Briefs

BRIEF: The Adequacy of School District Spending in the U.S.

Key findings on the adequacy of school district spending from our new District Cost Database for the 2017-18 school year. Published March 2021. Read the report.