Examining Educational Aid Distribution in the United States

DeBaun, Bill

"Outside of arguments for and against targeting policies, literature related to the education reform movement rarely explores the extent to which states truly target their aid to school districts and under what conditions (either at the local or state level) they do so. The study aims to reveal patterns by which states distribute funds to school districts. While results from this study address a number of related questions, its central focus is to assess the extent to which U.S. states—relative to how they have in the past—distribute their education aid on the basis of school district enrollment and district poverty. Other queries are addressed in this study. If states are not targeting their funds on the basis of school district enrollment, on what basis are they doing so? Do certain conditions or characteristics determine the amount of aid school districts receive? Can the presence or absence of some statewide characteristics—like which political party controls the state or whether the state supreme court has issued a ruling on the state’s education system—make a state more or less likely to engage in targeting practices? Some of these questions have been considered in the scholarly literature, but the age of most studies hinders their contemporary relevance.
This study investigates the above questions to determine states’ current practices of targeting education aid to school districts. The rest of this paper proceeds in the following order. Section II outlines previous research related to the educational finance reform movement. Section III outlines data and empirical model used in the study. Section IV presents the study’s main findings, and Section V concludes."--from pages 71-72


Also Published In

The Journal of Politics and Society

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Academic Units
Helvidius Group
Helvidius Group of Columbia University
Published Here
February 12, 2014