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ERIC Number: EJ1082329
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0098-9495
A Tale of Two Decades: New Evidence on Adequacy and Equity in Pennsylvania
Steinberg, Matthew P.; Quinn, Rand
Journal of Education Finance, v40 n3 p273-299 Win 2015
Over the last four decades, legal mandates and legislative reforms have compelled states to improve the equitable distribution of state resources across school districts, and, more recently, to increase state expenditures to more adequately fund education. However, there is limited evidence on the extent to which differences in the resource, legislative, and political climates in a state over time may generate improvements in educational spending or whether spending in districts that serve the most disadvantaged students improves relative to their more advantaged counterparts. To gain insight into the relationship between a state's educational funding climate and district spending, we turn to the case of Pennsylvania, which, in the previous two decades, has experienced dramatically different funding climates. While state expenditures on education were relatively flat between 1991 and 2001, the 2001 through 2011 period was characterized by increasing expenditures dedicated to improving adequacy and equity across districts in the state. Using panel data on Pennsylvania districts, we aim to uncover the extent to which differences across the two decades resulted in changes in adequate per-pupil spending and improvements in how districts that serve different student populations spent their educational resources. We find that Pennsylvania's districts were more equitably and adequately spending educational resources by the end of the second decade period compared with the end of the first period; however, spending disparities persist across districts that serve different populations of students. Indeed, while adequacy improved among districts that serve larger shares of disadvantaged students and those located in rural communities, larger districts and urban districts did not improve relative to smaller districts and suburban districts, respectively.
University of Illinois Press. 1325 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6903. Tel: 217-244-0626; Fax: 217-244-8082; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A