Bruce D.

Profile: Bruce D. Baker

Professor I (Educational Theory, Policy, & Administration)

Bruce D. Baker, Ed.D. is a Professor in the Department of Educational Theory, Policy, and Administration at the GSE, and is widely recognized as a leading scholar in the field of education finance. Serving in both academic and professional capacities, he has authored a multitude of peer-reviewed journal articles, policy briefs, editorials, books, and reports on topics including state school finance policy, teacher and administrator labor markets and preparation pipelines, charter school funding, and higher education finance and policy. Exemplifying the GSE mission to Advance Excellence and Equity in Education, Baker works to directly influence state policy and the equity and adequacy of resources available to children across states and nationwide using rigorous and accessible empirical research to inform legislative testimony. He is frequently called upon by state legislatures, boards of education, and other organizations for advisement on educational policy and school finance issues, and has extensive experience testifying as an expert witness on school funding equity in state and federal courts in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New York.

As an undergraduate student, Baker studied biology with an emphasis on molecular biology and genetics, intending to pursue a career in laboratory research. After spending several summers working at a special program for gifted and talented students however, he chose to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Connecticut in their Teaching the Talented program. His backgrounds in science and talent development led him to work in public and private schools as a science teacher and gifted and talented program coordinator. Later, he enrolled in the Ed.D. Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, where his interest in education finance was sparked. After graduating, Baker took his first academic position at the University of Kansas, where he was heavily engaged in litigation over the equity and adequacy of school funding in the state. This first hand experience influencing state school finance policy ignited a passion in Baker to continue down this path, leading to work in several other states over the past few decades and the development of national resources to inform advocacy efforts. Today, Baker’s research involves the ongoing development of indicators for evaluating school funding equity and adequacy, and for understanding the connections between school funding and improving students' short and long term outcomes. He continues to work on funding cases in multiple states, and works closely with the media to dissect issues in the field. Since 2013, he has been consistently named among Education Week’s Top 200 university-based scholars doing the most to shape educational practice and policy.


Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership, Teachers College of Columbia University (1997)

M.A. in Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut (1989)

B.A. in Biology, Lafayette College (1987)


Expertise & Research Interest

Economics of Education

Charter Schools

Funding Inequalities

Educational Policy

Recent & Selected Publications

Kolbe, T., & Baker, B. D. (2018). Fiscal Equity and America’s Community Colleges. The Journal of Higher Education, 1-39.

Baker, B.D., Weber, M., Srikanth, A., Atzbi, M., Kim, R. (2018) The Real Shame of the Nation: Causes and Consequences of Interstate Inequity in Public School Investment. Education Law Center of New Jersey & Rutgers GSE.

Baker, B.D., Farrie, D., Sciarra, D., Luhm, T. (2018) Is School Funding Fair? 2018 Edition. Education Law Center of New Jersey & Rutgers GSE.

Green, P. C., Baker, B. D., & Oluwole, J. (2017). Are Charter Schools the Second Coming of Enron?: An Examination of the Gatekeepers That Protect against Dangerous Related-Party Transactions in the Charter School Sector.

Baker, B.D. (2017) How Money Matters for Schools. Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute.

Baker, B.D., Levin, J. (2017) Estimating the Real Cost of Community College. New York: Century Foundation.

Jesse Levin, Bruce Baker, Drew Atchison, Iliana Brodziak, Andrea Boyle, Adam Hall, and Jason Becker (2017) Study of Funding Provided to Public Schools and Public Charter Schools in Maryland. Maryland Department of Education/American Institutes for Research.

Honors & Awards

Consistently ranked in Top 200 Public Influential Edu-Scholar, Education Week

Distinguished Faculty Lecture, Rutgers GSE Alumni Association

Askwith Forum Presenter, Harvard Graduate School of Education

AERA Division L Policy Report Award, Educational Law Center

Bammy Award Nomination, Academy of Educational Arts & Sciences

Outstanding Faculty Research Award, Rutgers GSE Alumni Association

Journal of Education Finance Scholarly Paper Award, National Education Finance Conference

Invited Lecturer: Jerry Miner Lecture Series, Syracuse University Center for Policy Research

Appointed Research Fellow, Education Policy Research Unit/Education and the Public Interest Center (EPRU/EPIC)

Professional Affiliations

American Education Finance Association

American Educational Research Association



  • Phone: 
    (848) 932-0698
  • Office Address: 

    GSE Room 17

  • Program Affiliations: 

    Ph.D. Concentration in Theory, Organization & Policy

    Ed.D. Concentration in Educational Leadership

    Ed.M. Educational Administration and Supervision