Pulling Back the Curtain: Intra-District School Spending Inequality and Its Correlates

54 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2017

See all articles by Kenneth Shores

Kenneth Shores

Pennsylvania State University

Simon Ejdemyr

Stanford University, Department of Political Science, Students

Date Written: July 27, 2017

Abstract

Despite concerns about funding inequities between schools within districts, data constraints have limited large-scale analyses of intra-district inequality in the United States. We use new school-level finance data to calculate measures of vertical inequality for nearly all U.S. districts. Using independent high-quality data sources, we validate the school-level data and the resulting inequality measures. We find that poor and minority students on average receive 1 to 2 percent more resources than nonpoor and white students in the same district; however, between 29 to 44 percent of districts under-allocate resources to disadvantaged students. Districts that under-allocate resources to poor students relative to nonpoor students tend to be poorer and have less income segregation. Districts that under-allocate resources to minority students relative to white students tend to have smaller racial income gaps, less racial segregation, and (when it comes to under-allocation to black students) larger white student populations.

Keywords: School finance, distribution of school finance, race and class inequality

Suggested Citation

Shores, Kenneth and Ejdemyr, Simon, Pulling Back the Curtain: Intra-District School Spending Inequality and Its Correlates (July 27, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3009775 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3009775

Kenneth Shores (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

Health and Human Development
University Park, PA 16802
United States
6505804655 (Phone)

Simon Ejdemyr

Stanford University, Department of Political Science, Students ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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