ERIC Number: ED468840
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Small Schools Under Siege: Evidence of Resource Inequality in Minnesota Public Schools.
Thorson, Gregory R.; Maxwell, Nicholas J.
The State of Minnesota funds its public schools primarily through a funding formula that provides school districts the same amount of revenue per pupil regardless of the size of their enrollment. An earlier study demonstrated that larger school districts incur less cost per pupil due to increased efficiency derived from economies of scale. This study evaluated whether smaller school districts, as a result of their higher costs per pupil, experienced greater hardship in the areas of infrastructure, resources, and staffing. Surveys returned by 308 school district superintendents indicated that in many key areas of infrastructure and technology, small school districts had significantly lower quality levels compared to larger school districts. Smaller school districts had much more difficulty than larger school districts in attracting and retaining teachers. The disparities between small and large school districts are even larger when one compares the low-referendum small districts with other school districts. To help eliminate these disparities, it is recommended that the state alter its basic funding formula (currently $4,601 per student) to provide 8 percent more funding for a district's first 500 students and an additional 4 percent to the next 500 students. All additional students beyond the first 1,000 in each district would be funded at the $4,601 level. These increased revenues would be available to all school districts. The total cost of the proposal is $77 million, less than 2 percent of state educational revenues. (Contains 20 references, 25 data tables, and a survey questionnaire.) (TD)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Educational Equity (Finance), Educational Facilities, Educational Resources, Educational Technology, Elementary Secondary Education, Equalization Aid, Expenditure per Student, Finance Reform, Funding Formulas, Rural Schools, School District Size, School Districts, School Surveys, Small Schools, State Aid, Teacher Recruitment
For full text: http://www.mankato.msus.edu/ruralmn/pages/Publications/reports/smallschools.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Minnesota State Univ., Mankato. Center for Rural Policy and Development.
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota
IES Cited: ED510558