ERIC Number: ED470492
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Can the States Address Equity and Innovation? Rethinking the State's Fiscal Role in Public Education.
Wong, Kenneth K.; Shen, Francis X.
With federal funds accounting for only 7% of public elementary and secondary education revenue, funding responsibility for K-12 education is split primarily between state and local governments. Since the 1980s, state governments have generally assumed primary fiscal responsibility, with local governments supplying the rest of the necessary revenue. There is, however, a noticeable variation in the level of funding responsibility across the 50 states. This paper examines the effects of this variation in state funding responsibility, considering the impact of this variation on equity and innovation. The paper also notes the state-house political party dynamics that may play a mediating role in this relationship and considers the effect of funding responsibility on achievement. It addresses two guiding questions: (1) What is the relationship between state funding responsibility and funding disparity, as measured by a set of five different indicators?; and (2) How does state funding responsibility affect a state's willingness to adopt innovative policies such as standards and accountability measures, charter schools, school district takeover, and public school vouchers? In addressing these questions, the paper is organized into five sections: (1) "Introduction"; (2) "Theoretical Background and the Research Base; (3) "Data and Methodology"; (4) "Results"; and (5) "Implications." The paper finds that state fiscal responsibility has served a redistributive function and higher levels of state funding are significantly related to a narrower gap between rich and poor districts, even when using a set of control variables. (Contains 45 references, 24 notes, 17 tables, and 1 figure.) (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A