ERIC Number: ED477282
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Shortchanging Small Schools: Nebraska School Finance Policy. The Impacts of LB 1114 and LB 806 on State Aid and Property Tax Revenues for Nebraska Public School Systems by School Size.
Funk, Patricia E.
Nebraska's small schools have been shortchanged by recently enacted school finance policies. LB 1114, which limited property tax levy rates, and LB 806, which changed the state aid distribution formula, were first implemented for the 1998-99 school year. These measures were intended to force cuts in school expenditures, especially among smaller, high-cost schools, and to bring about property tax relief. To some extent, these policies succeeded in the dual goals of property tax relief and school revenue reductions. But this limited success was accompanied by a high level of school finance inequity for small schools. This report documents how Nebraska school finance policy shortchanges small schools. Findings are based on comparisons of state aid and property tax revenues for the 1997-98 school year (the last year before LB 1114 and LB 806 implementation) with 1999-2000 (the most recent year with complete data). Small schools (those with fewer than 70 high school students) and their communities saw school revenues decline and received little property tax relief. In spite of a substantial overall increase in state aid, there was a major shift in aid away from small schools because the formula changed from size-based cost groups to sparseness cost groups. Small schools continued to provide the greatest share of school funding from property tax revenues. Recommendations are offered for basing state aid on actual costs while reducing the property tax burden. An appendix explains the methodology used. (Author/SV)
Descriptors: Educational Equity (Finance), Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Finance Reform, Property Taxes, School Funds, School Size, School Taxes, Small Schools, State Aid, State Legislation
Center for Rural Affairs, P.O. Box 406, Walthill, NE 68067, Tel: 402-846-5428. For full text: http://www.cfra.org/resources/Publications/shortchanging_small_schools.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Rural Affairs, Walthill, NE.
Identifiers - Location: Nebraska