ERIC Number: ED229861
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Jul
Reference Count: 0
School Finance Reforms and Big-City Fiscal Problems. Working Papers in Education Finance, Paper No. 16.
Vincent, Phillip E.
Fiscal problems facing big-city schools have been exacerbated by several underlying problems and have also raised conceptual issues concerning higher government levels' involvement in dealing with the problems. Alternative policies, however, are being developed to handle the problems and questions. In many big-city districts, but chiefly those in the East, the tax base is not expanding as rapidly as district expenditures. Underlying this fiscal problem are such factors as declining enrollments, the student body's shifting ethnic composition (with attendant increases in special needs students and difficulties in hiring teachers), and higher costs in large big-city districts (that is, diseconomies of scale). The conceptual issues raised revolve, first, around school finance equity, including the reconciling of fiscal neutrality with equal expenditure per student and the use of property values or income as measures of district fiscal capacity. The issues involve, second, the use of the concept of municipal overburden to justify additional aid to big-city districts. Alternative policies proposed for helping big-city schools include cost of education indexes, to compensate for higher costs, and the incorporation of district fiscal response and fiscal capacity factors into state aid formulas. (RW)
Descriptors: Cost Indexes, Declining Enrollment, Educational Equity (Finance), Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnic Distribution, Financial Problems, Fiscal Capacity, Tables (Data), Urban Areas, Urban Schools
Publications, Education Commission of the States, 300 Lincoln Tower, 1860 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80295 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO. Education Finance Center.
Identifiers: Cost of Education Indexes; Economies of Scale; Municipal Overburden; State Aid Formulas
Note: Presented at the Conference on Big City Fiscal Problems in the United States of the Committee on Taxation, Resources and Economic Development (TRED) (Cambridge, MA, October 21-22, 1977).