ERIC Number: ED445857
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Financing Facilities in Rural School Districts: Variations among the States and the Case of Arkansas.
Hughes, Mary F.
This chapter examines the main challenges that rural school districts face in school facilities funding and illustrates these problems with a case study of Arkansas. Most rural school districts serve only a small number of students, which tends to limit the funds available for construction or renovation. In addition, rural districts are likely to have lower assessed property values and lower resident ability to support local taxes. In Arkansas, the per-student amount that a district could borrow for school facilities funding was three times larger for the state's largest school district than the smallest school district. The smallest district had 78 percent of its students participating in the free and reduced lunch program, an indication of resident inability to support additional taxes. The total borrowing power of districts ranged from $531,000 to $363 million. When facilities funding is based on local property wealth and local ability to pay, great inequities occur. In 1994, 15 states provided no state school facilities funding, and 8 of those states measured local fiscal capacity by assessed property valuations. Either state or federal aid would help remedy inequities in facilities funding. Six data tables provide details on the states' facilities funding and classification of local fiscal capacity and on Arkansas districts' borrowing power by size, rurality, and poverty rate. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas