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 Reports / Publications

Below are several recent reports produced by APA:

Analysis of the Costs of Colorado's Achievement Plan for Kids: First Interim Report

Closing the Achievement Gap Evaluation

Prepared for the Colorado Department of Education, this 2011 report evaluates the Department's multi-year initiative to support efforts in six school districts across the state to close existing achievement gaps between low income and minority students and their more advantaged, non-minority peers. 

Below is a link to the full report:
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Colorado Average Daily Membership Study

APA undertook a feasibility study for the state of Colorado focusing on the switch from a single day funding count to a mutliple day funding count.  APA worked with the state and an advisory committee to quickly turnaround the study in under two months, and to ensure that the results were available by January 2011 for the state legislative session.  The study was a collaboration between APA, the Colorado School Finance Project, and the University of Colorado at Denver.
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Costing Out the Resources Needed to Meet Pennsylvania Public Education Goals

This costing out study is designed to help state policymakers understand the level of resources schools and districts need in order to meet state education performance goals, including having 100 percent of students reach proficiency in reading and math by 2014.  APA was hired by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education to conduct this comprehensive study.
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Costs and Funding of Virtual Schools

Prepared for the BellSouth Foundation, this report examines the costs involved to start, operate, and grow virtual schools and includes a discussion of funding options for those states that are interested in supporting virtual school programs.
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Estimating the Cost of an Adequate Education in Montana

Estimating the Cost of an Adequate Education in Nevada

Identifying and Meeting the Challenges Facing the Allentown School District

Prepared for a group of local business leaders, CEOs, and other county-level civic leaders, this report examines the economic and fiscal challenges facing the third largest urban school district in Pennsylvania.  Gathering together a variety of data on property taxes, wealth per student, teacher turnover, student demographics, and performance, APA worked to determine whether inequities existed in the resources available to the Allentown City School District. Based on data gathering, analysis, and interviews with county leaders and district superintendents, APA was able to document in this report significant resource disparities that led the state legislature to provide nearly $11 million in new funding for the district.
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Massachusetts Tax Analysis

In late 2008 APA completed a report for Massachusetts Secretary of Education Paul Reville examining the impact of state and local taxes and comparing Massachusetts to other states.  The report helps policymakers determine how changes in tax policy might allow new revenues to be generated without harming the state's competitive position with nearby states.

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Profiles of Success: Eight Colorado Schools That Are Closing the Achievement Gap

Schools that are closing the achievement gap between students from lower and higher socio-economic backgrounds have important common characteristics, according to this joint study conducted by the Donnell-Kay Foundation and Augenblick, Palaich & Associates, Inc.  The study examines eight schools in Colorado who have made significant progress in closing the gap, and identifies commonalities across these schools.

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Recommendations to Strengthen North Carolina's School Funding System: Executive Summary

The file below is the executive summary of an in-depth study APA
undertook for the North Carolina General Assembly examining all
aspects of the state's school funding system.  The full report can be
found at:

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School District Consolidation Report

Prepared for the Colorado School Finance Project, this 2009 report summarizes the research and status of school district consolidation efforts across the country.

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Special Education Costing Out Report

In February 2009, APA produced a new statewide report on special education programs and funding in Pennsylvania.  The report provides information on how much it costs to educate children eligible for special education programs and also explains the reasons behind the costs.  It also discusses the potential benefits that appropriate funding for special education can provide to students, teachers, parents, and the state.  The report has been endorsed by a wide array of organizations across Pennsylvania. 
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Summary of APA Expertise

This brief, two page document summarizes the types of services and expertise that APA can provide for its customers.
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Teacher Retention in Hard to Staff Schools

This report, prepared in cooperation with district and education association leaders from three of the Denver-metro area's largest school districts, identifies a series of best practices for attracting and retaining teachers in hard-to-staff schools.  The best practices were drawn from teacher surveys and principal interviews conducted in high performing schools from across the country that serve high percentages of at-risk children.
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York County Education Study

Creating a new, county-wide cyber charter school and a county-wide research and best practices clearinghouse are just two of the key recommendations that APA identified in a new study of the 16 school districts in York County, Pennsylvania.  APA was hired to analyze the districts, interview superintendents, and use research and other data to produce recommendations to help the districts cooperate more effectively and improve performance. 

APA also developed a method for comparing resource use (across several staffing, compensation, and spending categories) in the York County districts with other districts around the state.  The purpose of this analysis was to help gauge how efficient or inefficient the York districts appear to be be when compared to their peers.

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Posted on: 02/02/2014
APA's collaboration with The Finance Project culminated in the release of a final report on funding adequacy in Washington, DC.  For more information click here.


"We hired APA to conduct a county-wide analysis to identify new ways for our school districts to work together and improve performance.  We also wanted to know how our district resource usage compared with others in our state.  APA did an excellent job of gathering information and ideas from our superintendents and other community leaders to provide clear answers to these questions.  The firm was easy to work with and provided the independent, impartial, experienced analysis we needed to help move forward our county's education systems."

-Suzanne McConkey, Program Director
York- Center for Community Engagement at York College