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David  Arsen

David Arsen


Professor Arsen's research focuses on school finance, school choice policies, and education governance

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Area of Expertise

Education Policy School Facilities School Finance School Choice Governance


David Arsen is a professor of Education Policy and Educational Administration. He serves as coordinator of MSU’s Education Policy program. Dr. Arsen received his PhD in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. His primary area of research specialization is school finance. He has also worked extensively on school choice, education governance, and school capital facilities. In recent years, his work has focused on the impacts of Michigan’s education policies on local school districts.

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Selected Press

Study blames state policies for school districts' declines

Michigan Radio | 2016-06-14

David Arsen is professor at Michigan State University and the lead of author of a three-year study on the topic, “Which Districts Get Into Financial trouble and Why: Michigan’s Story.” The study shows that 80 percent of the variation in the quality of Michigan schools can be attributed to state policies.

“The trigger for state intervention is exclusively on financial grounds,” Arsen said on Stateside. “The emergency management law is exceptionally weak as an instrument of academic accountability.”...

'Children are not blueberries': What a Trump/DeVos administration would mean for local schools

The Rapidian | 2017-02-06

“The federal role in funding of schools is quite modest,” said David Arsen, a Michigan State University professor of education policy and K-12 educational administration. “These are still decisions that would be made primarily at the state level.”...

Michigan school funding, choice policies hurting local districts

MSU Today | 2016-06-02

And these forces have made the hardships in Michigan’s low-income urban districts like Detroit even worse, argues David Arsen, professor of education policy in the MSU College of Education.

MSU education professor calls for action to help Detroit schools

MSU Today | 2016-05-05

As state lawmakers debate proposed legislation, Michigan State University Professor David Arsen has created a video brief explaining the best course of action to resolve the school district’s debt and address the schools’ longstanding challenges. He explains in clear language why a deal is needed not only for the children of Detroit, but for residents in the entire state. He also explains key components needed to ensure a long-term, workable solution.