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ERIC Number: ED553400
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct
Pages: 109
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Educational Equity, Adequacy, and Equal Opportunity in the Commonwealth: An Evaluation of Pennsylvania's School Finance System
Baker, Bruce; Levin, Jesse
American Institutes for Research
Pennsylvania has historically operated one of the nation's least equitable state school finance systems, and within that system exist some of the nation's most fiscally disadvantaged public school districts. The persistent inequalities of Pennsylvania's school finance system are not entirely a result of simple lack of effort, as policies intended to mitigate inequities serve in some cases to exacerbate them. This report provides an overview of the state of school funding in Pennsylvania, a review of current conceptions of educational equity, adequacy and equal opportunity, empirical methods for measuring education costs, current policies across states and recent reforms. The review is organized in three chapters. The first summarizes the current status of the school funding system and student outcomes in Pennsylvania. The second outlines conceptions of equity, adequacy and equal educational opportunity and provides an overview and critique of methods for measuring educational adequacy and informing state school finance policy. The report concludes with an overview of the current landscape of school finance policy, and the intersection between emerging evidence on education costs and state school finance policy design. Appended are: (1) Data Sources; (2) Adjustment Factors in BEF; (3) Pennsylvania Confirmatory Analysis; (4) All States Adjusted NAEP Comparisons; (5) Correlations between Traditional Equity and Neutrality Indicators and Funding Fairness Indicators; (6) Fiscal Neutrality Coefficients; (7) Fixed and Random Effects Models of Gaps and Outcomes; (8) Bridging Pennsylvania State Assessments and SAT College Readiness Benchmarks; (9) Economies of Scale in Education; (10) New York Reforms; and (11) Rhode Island Numbers Games.
American Institutes for Research. 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 202-403-5000; Fax: 202-403-5001; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William Penn Foundation
Authoring Institution: American Institutes for Research
Identifiers - Location: Kansas; New Jersey; New York; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: SAT (College Admission Test)