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ERIC Number: EJ942581
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
Dollars for Sense: Assessing Achievement Gaps in Arkansas in the Context of Substantial Funding Increases
Barnett, Joshua; Jensen, Nathan C.; Ritter, Gary W.
Journal of the Association of Mexican American Educators, p44-54 2010
Forty-four of the fifty states have experienced school finance lawsuits as a consequence of funding gaps between rich and poor districts. In some states, such as Kentucky, lawsuits brought about by property-poor districts have resulted in a statewide remedy that reforms the property tax system and seeks to provide every child with an adequate education. Throughout the litigation across the country and the respective judicial and legislative responses to those cases, the motivation for the cases is uniform--some individuals within the state contend that their students are being presented inferior educational opportunities compared to other students in the state. While achievement gap conversations can quickly expand to include every group of students, the authors focus on actual impact of policy decisions targeted to decrease the achievement gap in one state by providing categorical funding for certain students. In this paper, the authors respond to the nexus of the school finance discussion and achievement gap discussion by examining the performance trends for Hispanic and low-income students on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), the Arkansas Benchmark, and the ACT. This analysis allows them to examine whether increases in student performance, or the narrowing of achievement gaps, followed these targeted increases in financial resources. Specifically, they examine two related, but different, achievement gaps: (1) the white-Hispanic gap; and (2) the gap between those students eligible for free and reduced lunch and those students not eligible. Before responding to these questions, they briefly present the context of their data to explain the school finance situation in the state of interest. (Contains 5 tables and 1 footnote.)
Association of Mexican American Educators. 634 South Spring Street Suite 908, Los Angeles, CA 90014. Tel: 310-251-6306; Fax: 310-538-4976; 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: Arkansas