ERIC Number: ED355666
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Voters and School Finance: The Impact of Public Opinion.
Whitney, Terry N.
Since 1989, citizen-generated ballot initiatives have appeared in several states. Common to several of these initiatives have been questions dealing with the funding of elementary, secondary, and higher education. The focus of these initiatives has shifted to how much the public is willing to pay for education. This project examines the causes behind these changes and the increasing role of public opinion in school funding in the form of citizen-led ballot initiatives. Several factors contributed to voter involvement in school finance issues. First, state legislatures are perceived as slow to act in school finance issues. Second, tax increase proposals, regardless of the merits, enjoy little support. Third, state legislatures have focused on improving educational achievement levels and performance-assessment tools. This study examined school finance laws and initiatives in seven states: California, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, Missouri, North Dakota, and Oregon. These case studies show that education finance measures are more successful when expenditures are directly tied to specific educational improvements that are carefully explained to the public. Broad public support and the type of tax also are important. Appendices on school finance data, education data for the 50 states, school finance litigation, and Oregon school finance reform ballot measures are included. (Contains 71 references.) (JPT)
Descriptors: Citizen Participation, Educational Finance, Elementary Secondary Education, Finance Reform, Higher Education, Public Opinion, Public Schools, State Aid, State Government, State Legislation, Tax Effort
National Conference of State Legislatures, 1560 Broadway, Suite 700, Denver, CO 80202 (Stock No. 3120, $15).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Conference of State Legislatures, Denver, CO.
Identifiers - Location: California; Colorado; Missouri; Nebraska; North Dakota; Oklahoma; Oregon