Money invested in student learning matters. This is the conclusion most researchers reach after examining the relationship between funding and student achievement. It means Georgia is headed in the wrong direction as ongoing austerity cuts slashed $8.3 billion from state public school funding since 2003. Students across the state suffer the effects of these cuts, which include school years shortened, art and music programs cut, elective courses eliminated, and support programs for struggling students reduced. The cuts also undermine promising state policies to strengthen curriculum and enhance instruction. Money is not the only factor in student learning. The way money is used is equally important. But it is an essential factor. If Georgia’s students are to be college and career ready, particularly the 62 percent who are economically disadvantaged,1 the state must invest the resources needed to get them there. Download the report.