ERIC Number: ED443641
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-May
Reference Count: N/A
Big Trouble for Small Schools II: An Analysis of the Effects of LB 806.
Bailey, Jon; Preston, Kim
This report examines state aid to each school system in Nebraska, comparing funding in school year 1997-98 to proposed state aid in 2000-01. State aid received in 1997-98 was the last before passage of LB-806, which set the current school funding formula. This legislation has produced clear winners and losers, with the number of losers now numbering 111 school systems. Certain districts have been consistent losers; 38 districts have lost 10 percent or more in state aid in each year of the 3-year period. These districts have much in common. They are small, with a median K-12 enrollment of 212 students, and mostly rural. They are well-performing, with a median high school completion rate of 95 percent, compared to the statewide average of 85 percent. They are also efficient, with an average annual expenditure-per-graduate of $7,226. Many of these districts are on the verge of unification, consolidation, or dissolution, outcomes made more likely by Nebraska's limit on property taxes. It is clear that rural districts are being hurt by the school finance formula. The public policy bias appears to work against those small school systems located near other similar systems in areas of relatively denser population, and creates a powerful economic incentive for consolidation. Recommendations are offered for maintaining well-performing, efficient, community-based schools in Nebraska. The 111 "losing" school districts are listed with their enrollments and losses in state aid. (SV)
Descriptors: Educational Equity (Finance), Elementary Secondary Education, Rural Schools, School District Size, School Districts, Small Schools, State Aid, State Legislation
Center for Rural Affairs, P.O. Box 406, Walthill, NE 68067; Tel: 402-846-5428. Full text at Web site: http://www.cfra.org/Small_schools.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Rural Challenge Policy Program, Randolph, VT.
Authoring Institution: Center for Rural Affairs, Walthill, NE.
Identifiers - Location: Nebraska