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The Critical Importance of Costs for Education Decisions

This brief provides guidance to decision makers in schools, districts, state education departments, and intermediary organizations about ways that cost analyses can help inform their decisions about program choices, budgets, and strategies. It addresses questions about: (1) why cost information matters in education; (2) what cost metrics are available to inform decision making; (3) how cost analyses can inform decision making; (4) what resources exist to help calculate the costs of education programs; and (5) what types and uses of cost analysis are available for decision making. Finally, the brief discusses the purposes, advantages, disadvantages, and possible applications for four types of cost analyses.

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