ERIC Number: ED424663
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
School Finance: State Efforts To Equalize Funding between Wealthy and Poor School Districts. Report to Congressional Requesters.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
Disparities in funding for education have resulted in lawsuits in more than 40 states since 1970. To better understand states' accomplishments in equalizing educational funding, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) examined factors surrounding funding gaps between poor and wealthy school districts. The GAO's analysis included every state except Hawaii and was based on 1991-92 school year data. A phone survey of states showed that half of them reported little or no changes in their finance system. The GAO limited its research on states that did change finance systems to Kansas, Rhode Island, and Louisiana and conducted its work between November 1996 and May 1998. It was found that two key factors reduced the size of the funding gap between poor and wealthy districts: (1) the extent to which a state's poor districts make a greater tax effort than the wealthy districts; and (2) a state's effort to compensate for differences in district wealth through its equalization policies. Concerning these two factors, the study demonstrates that the larger tax effort of poor districts compared with that of wealthy districts contributed more to reducing funding gaps than did state equalization efforts in school year 1991-92. Seven appendices detail study methodology, data, and other information. (RJM)
Descriptors: Educational Equity (Finance), Educational Finance, Elementary Secondary Education, Equalization Aid, Financial Support, National Surveys, School District Wealth, State School District Relationship
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 37050, Washington, DC 20013 (first copy free; each additional copy, $2).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.