The studies, to be completed by the end of the year, will be aimed at giving state officials the information needed to reform the system, with a focus on whether funding is adequate and whether it is allocated efficiently and fairly.
That will mean taking on some politically delicate topics such as the discrepancies between rich and poor districts, and the difficulty of assigning the best teachers to the neediest schools.
“We admit we have an achievement gap, and that achievement gap is unacceptable,” state Supt. of Schools Jack O’Connell said in a telephone news conference about the research project. “We need a clear idea of what it’s going to cost to meet the different educational needs of our very diverse student population.”