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The Legacy of Serrano: The Impact of Mandated Equal Spending on Private School Enrollment

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Author Info

  • Thomas A. Husted

    ()
    (Department of Economics, American University)

  • Lawrence W. Kenny

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Florida)

Abstract

In Tiebout's idealized world, families would sort into homogeneous communities. Each family would get its preferred quality of public schools and there would be no demand for private schools. But limited public school options and a demand for religious instruction not permitted in public schools create a market for private schooling. Recently, many state governments have greatly limited districts' freedom to spend what they wish on education, often in response to court rulings to equalize education spending, such as Serrano in California. Funding equalization also affects the level of public school spending in the average state district; if this rises, as it has in many states, private schools become less attractive. Examining private school enrollment in 159 metropolitan areas in 1970, 1980, and 1990, we find that private school enrollments fall as average public spending rises and increase as public spending becomes more equal.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 68 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
Pages: 566-583

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:68:3:y:2002:p:566-583

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Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/
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Cited by:
  1. Thomas Downes & David Figlio, 1998. "School Finance Reforms, Tax Limits, and Student Performance: Do Reforms Level-Up or Dumb Down?," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9805, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  2. Lawrence Kenny, 2005. "The public choice of educational choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 205-222, July.
  3. Clifford Grammich, 2004. "Many Faiths of Many Regions: Continuities and Changes Among Religious Adherents Across U.S. Counties," Working Papers 211, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  4. Eric J. Brunner & Jon Sonstelie, 2006. "California's School Finance Reform: An Experiment in Fiscal Federalism," Working papers 2006-09, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  5. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1996. "Are Efficiency and Equity in School Finance Substitutes or Complements?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 51-72, Fall.

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