This report fills an important gap in the literature on school leadership by presenting an approach for understanding the district resources and expenditures required to put in place and operate comprehensive principal pipelines — pipelines for preparing, hiring, supporting, and managing school leaders — and by presenting estimates of those resources and expenditures. RAND Corporation analysts estimated school district costs for putting in place and operating principal pipelines based on data they collected from six urban districts that participated in The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative. These estimates could aid districts in making strategic choices about investments to improve and strengthen their principal pipelines.
Overall, principal pipelines were not a big-ticket item for school districts participating in the Principal Pipeline Initiative. Districts contributed less than 1 percent of their total district expenditures to pipeline efforts.
Efforts Supporting Leader Standards Development and Refinement Had a Relatively Low Cost
Districts Varied Widely in the Resources Devoted to Preservice Preparation
Selective Hiring and Placement Efforts Had Relatively Low Associated Costs
Districts Consistently Devoted Considerable Resources to On-the-Job Support for School Leaders
Participating Districts Also Contributed Resources and Expenditures to Cross-Cutting Activities Supporting All Pipeline Components