ERIC Number: ED430745
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
School Size as a Factor in Financing Small Rural Schools.
Alspaugh, John W.
This paper examines the effects of enrollment on the financing of small rural K-8 versus K-12 school districts in Missouri and compares the educational outcomes of K-8 and K-12 districts. The sample included 48 K-8 and 48 K-12 districts with K-8 enrollments ranging from 70 to 370 students. Findings indicate that it is more difficult to financially support small rural high schools than small rural elementary schools. Rural districts had limited capability to raise local revenue because of their low assessed valuation per pupil, which was associated with low assessment rates of agricultural real estate compared to residential and commercial property. District expenditures per pupil were below the state average and declined as enrollment increased. The student-teacher ratio was lower in K-12 districts than in K-8 districts; these lower ratios were associated with higher expenditures per pupil, higher operating levies, and lower teacher salaries. All teachers were underpaid relative to the state mean, but teachers in small K-12 districts were paid less than teachers in small K-8 districts. This implies that the conversion of small K-12 districts to K-8 districts may be an effective strategy to improve rural teacher salaries. Compared to state averages, small rural schools had better educational outcomes, suggesting that underfunding and low teacher salaries did not influence educational outcomes. Contains 8 tables, 9 figures, and 12 references. (Author/TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri