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Bruce D. Baker

Professor I (Educational Theory, Policy, & Administration)
Educational Theory Policy & Administration
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GSE Room 17

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.


Education:
• 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)
Affiliations:
• American Education Finance Association
• American Educational Research Association

  • Expertise & Research Interest

    Economics of Education

    Charter Schools

    Funding Inequalities

    Educational Policy

  • Recent & Selected Publications

    Baker, B.D., Weber, M., Srikanth, A. (in press) Informing Federal School Finance Policy with Empirical Evidence: A National Education Cost Model Approach. Journal of Education Finance

    Srikanth, A., Baker, B.D., Weber, M., Atzbi, M. (2021) How States Fund Education. Oxford Handbook of U.S. Education Law

    Baker, B.D., (2021) Tales from Flyover Country: Lessons from the Kansas School Finance Saga. Harvard Education Press

    Green, P.C., Baker, B.D., Oluwole, J. (2021) School Finance, Race & Reparations. Washington & Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice 

    Kolbe, T., Baker, B.D., Atchison, D., Levin, J. (2021) The Additional Cost of Operating Rural Schools: Evidence from Vermont. AERA Open

    Baker, B.D., Srikanth, A., Cotto, R., & Green III, P.C. (2020) School Funding Disparities and the Plight of Latinx Children. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 28(135).

    Baker, B.D., Weber, M., Atchison, D. (2020) Weathering the storm: School funding in the COVID-19 era. Phi Delta Kappan

    Baker. B.D., Cotto, R. (2020) School Funding’s Latinx Second Cities Problem. Phi Delta Kappan

  • Honors & Awards

    Ranked among Top 200 Public Influence Edu-Scholar 2013-2021, Education Week
    Distinguished Research and Practice Award, National Education Finance Academy
    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)

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