We study the impact of post-1990 school finance reforms, during the so-called “adequacy” era, on absolute and relative spending and achievement in low-income school districts. Using an event study research design that exploits the apparent randomness of reform timing, we find that reforms lead to sharp, immediate, and sustained increases in spending in low-income school districts. Using representative
samples from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, we also find that reforms cause increases in the achievement of students in these districts, phasing in gradually over the years following the reform. The implied effect of school resources on educational achievement is large.