This paper contributes to conversations about the funding and quality of education research. The paper proceeds in two parts. Part I sets the context by presenting an historical analysis of funding allocations made to Education research through the ARC's Discovery projects scheme between the years 2002 and 2014, and compares these trends to allocations made to another field within the Social, Behavioural and Economic Sciences assessment panel: Psychology and Cognitive Science. Part II highlights the consequences of underfunding education research by presenting evidence from an Australian Research Council Discovery project that is tracking the experiences of disaffected students who are referred to behaviour schools. The re-scoping decisions that became necessary and the incidental costs that accrue from complications that occur in the field are illustrated and discussed through vignettes of research with "ghosts" who don't like school but who do like lollies, chess and Lego.