Our guest author today is Mark Weber, a member of the research team for the School Finance Indicators Database project. He is also the Special Analyst for Education Policy at the New Jersey Policy Perspective, and a Lecturer at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education.
It’s become an article of faith on the political right: teachers unions forced schools to go remote during the pandemic. But what if that’s not true? What if there’s actually more to the story?
In a new working paper, Bruce Baker and I consider another possibility: Schools that are inadequately funded were more likely to go remote in the 2020-2021 school year, the first full year after the pandemic hit. While we wouldn’t say that funding inadequacy was the sole cause of remote schooling, we do document a relationship between the two that calls into question the idea that unionization was the only or even primary reason for the loss of live schooling.