Better Outcomes

The Smarter Funding, Better Outcomes initiative recognizes the real possibility for better student, economic and state outcomes from improving the state’s school finance system.  What might these outcomes look like?

Better Student Outcomes

Although an effective school finance system alone does not ensure that students will achieve at high levels, it is the foundation upon which strong schools are built. Georgia will only improve student outcomes if it makes the most of each and every dollar. Georgia’s school finance system must therefore support an equitable distribution of resources that targets funds where they’re needed most, allow districts and schools the flexibility to use funds to address the specific needs of their students, and be transparent enough to permit taxpayers and policymakers to determine outcomes and improve student achievement.

The 2012 General Assembly’s changes to QBE legislation show that policymakers are listening and interested in new ways to fund and improve Georgia’s public education system. And according to a 2012 survey, 55% of Georgia voters believe that local schools don’t have enough spending flexibility, while 66% believe giving more flexibility will improve performance.footnote 1

The Smarter Funding, Better Outcomes report, to be released later in 2012, will introduce research and strategies exploring how Georgia school funding might better connect to outcomes and improve student achievement.

Better Economic Outcomesfootnote 2

The following illustrate how Georgia can benefit if we realize improved academic performance:

Income and Unemployment

  • Georgians with bachelor’s degrees earn twice as much as those with only a high school diploma and are half as likely to be unemployed.
  • Average household incomes are also doubled when headed by those holding a bachelor’s degree vs. a high school diploma; they triple when no one finished high school.

Tax Revenues

  • Higher education yields higher tax revenues. On average, a person with a bachelor’s degree pays 72% more in state and local taxes than someone with a high school diploma.
  • Converting 1% of high school grads in Georgia’s workforce to bachelor’s degree grads would yield $32 million more a year in state and local taxes – or $1.2 billion over a 40-year working life.
Better Outcomes


The Problem Funding History
Current Outcomes Current K-12 Funding







Smarter Funding, Better Outcomes Public Awareness Polling

2 Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education. (2009). “Higher Return: How investing in education pays off for Georgia.” Retrieved from:

It is vital to Georgia’s economic future that its public education system produces better student outcomes. Reforming how Georgia finances K-12 education is integral to achieving that goal. The Smarter Funding, Better Outcomes initiative will positively contribute to the process of modernizing and improving education finance in our state.

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