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Candice Benge

Research Associate, SRI Education

Candice Benge is a mixed-methods researcher with experience in school finance, California education policy, and educational equity. Benge’s recent work includes developing innovative data collection instruments and systems for a large-scale study of federally funded programs for the U.S. Department of Education. She also manages a large-scale evaluation of arts education in California, including a sub study on arts access for juvenile court and community school students. Other recent projects include managing a help desk and developing resources for IES’ Cost Analysis in Practice Project, a study of high school health pathways in alternative school settings and an evaluation of high school reform efforts to support students who are off track to graduate.

Prior to SRI, Benge conducted policy analysis for The Opportunity Institute, Education Trust – West, and First 5 Alameda County. Most of her work focused on California’s Local Control Funding Formula, specifically its impact on stakeholder engagement practices and changes in intra-district spending patterns. This work included conducting district case studies, writing policy briefs, and collaborating with The Advancement Project in presenting key findings to legislators.

Before beginning her career in education research, Benge worked as a professional playwright and ran a small theater company (featured in American Theatre magazine). Her plays have been performed in 15 states, including an award-winning production in the 16th Annual New York Fringe Festival.

Benge holds a certificate in education finance from Georgetown University, a Master of Public Affairs from the University of California – Berkeley, a Master of Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, and a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Methodist University.

Key projects

  1. District and School Uses of Federal Education Funds
  2. The Status of Arts Education in California
  3. Cost Analysis in Practice Project
  4. Barr Engage New England Evaluation
  5. Oakland Health Pathways Project
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