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How much more does a disadvantaged student cost?

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  • Duncombe, William
  • Yinger, John

Abstract

This paper provides a guide to statistically based methods for estimating the extra costs of educating disadvantaged students, shows how these methods are related, and compares state aid programs that account for these costs in different ways. We show how pupil weights, which are included in many state programs, can be estimated from an education cost equation, which many scholars use to obtain an education cost index, and we devise a method to estimate pupil weights directly. Using data from New York, we show that the distribution of state aid is similar with statistically based pupil weights and an educational cost index. Finally, we show that large, urban school districts with a high concentration of disadvantaged students would receive far more aid (and rich suburban districts would receive far less aid) if statistically based pupil weights were used instead of the ad hoc weights in existing state aid programs.
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Suggested Citation

  • Duncombe, William & Yinger, John, 2005. "How much more does a disadvantaged student cost?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 513-532, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:24:y:2005:i:5:p:513-532
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Downes, Thomas A. & Pogue, Thomas F., 1994. "Adjusting School Aid Formulas for the Higher Cost of Educating Disadvantaged Students," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 47(1), pages 89-110, March.
    2. Ladd, Helen F. & Yinger, John, 1994. "The Case for Equalizing Aid," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 211-24, March.
    3. Duncombe, William & Yinger, John, 1998. "School Finance Reform: Aid Formulas and Equity Objectives," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 2), pages 239-62, June.
    4. Downes, Thomas A. & Pogue, Thomas F., 1994. "Adjusting School Aid Formulas for the Higher Cost of Educating Disadvantaged Students," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 89-110, March.
    5. William Duncombe & John Yinger, 1997. "Why is it so hard to help central city schools?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 85-113.
    6. Ladd, Helen F. & Yinger, John, 1994. "The Case for Equalizing Aid," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 47(1), pages 211-224, March.
    7. Duncombe, William & Yinger, John, 2000. "Financing higher student performance standards: the case of New York State," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 363-386, October.
    8. William Duncombe, 2002. "Estimating the Cost of an Adequate Education in New York," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 44, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    9. Andrew Reschovsky & Jennifer Imazeki, 2003. "Let No Child Be Left Behind: Determining the Cost of Improving Student Performance," Public Finance Review, , vol. 31(3), pages 263-290, May.
    10. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong & Anthony O. Gyapong, 1991. "Production of Education: Are Socioeconomic Characteristics Important Factors?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 507-521, Oct-Dec.
    11. Ratcliffe, Kerri & Riddle, Bruce & Yinger, John, 1990. "The fiscal condition of school districts in Nebraska: Is small beautiful?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 81-99, March.
    12. Andrews, Matthew & Duncombe, William & Yinger, John, 2002. "Revisiting economies of size in American education: are we any closer to a consensus?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 245-262, June.
    13. Duncombe, William & Yinger, John, 1998. "School Finance Reform: Aid Formulas and Equity Objectives," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 51(2), pages 239-262, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Audun Langørgen, 2015. "A structural approach for analyzing fiscal equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(3), pages 376-400, June.
    2. Eric J. Brunner & Stephen L. Ross, 2009. "Is the Median Voter Decisive? Evidence of 'Ends Against the Middle' From Referenda Voting Patterns," Working papers 2009-02, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised May 2010.
    3. Gronberg, Timothy J. & Jansen, Dennis W. & Taylor, Lori L., 2012. "The relative efficiency of charter schools: A cost frontier approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 302-317.
    4. Singleton, John, 2017. "Incentives and the Supply of Effective Charter Schools," MPRA Paper 83532, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Bruce D. Baker & Lori Taylor & Jesse Levin & Jay Chambers & Charles Blankenship, 2013. "Adjusted Poverty Measures and the Distribution of Title I Aid: Does Title I Really Make the Rich States Richer?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 8(3), pages 394-417, July.
    6. Levin, Henry M., 2012. "Some economic guidelines for design of a charter school district," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 331-343.
    7. Brunner, Eric J. & Ross, Stephen L., 2010. "Is the median voter decisive? Evidence from referenda voting patterns," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 898-910, December.
    8. Carlos Renato De Melo Castro & Geraldo Da Silva E Souza & Maria Eduarda Tannuri-Pianto, 2016. "Gastos Em Educação: Mais Recursos Sem Gestão?," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 072, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    9. Levin, Henry M. & Belfield, Clive & Muennig, Peter & Rouse, Cecilia, 2007. "The public returns to public educational investments in African-American males," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 699-708, December.
    10. Tae Ho Eom & William Duncombe & Phuong Nguyen-Hoang & John Yinger, 2014. "The Unintended Consequences of Property Tax Relief: New York’s STAR Program," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 9(4), pages 446-480, October.
    11. Eric J. Brunner & Stephen L. Ross, 2007. "How Decisive Is the Decisive Voter?," Working papers 2007-28, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2008.
    12. Dhuey, Elizabeth & Lipscomb, Stephen, 2010. "Disabled or young? Relative age and special education diagnoses in schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 857-872, October.
    13. Gronberg, Timothy J. & Jansen, Dennis W. & Taylor, Lori L., 2011. "The Impact of Facilities on the Cost of Education," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 64(1), pages 193-218, March.
    14. Ross Rubenstein, 2006. "Alternative education finance strategies - discussion," Regional Economic Development, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 28-30.
    15. William Duncombe & John Yinger, 2011. "Making do: state constraints and local responses in California’s education finance system," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(3), pages 337-368, June.
    16. Simone Balestra & Beatrix Eugster & Helge Liebert, 2017. "The Effect of School Starting Age on Special Needs Incidence and Child Development into Adolescence," CESifo Working Paper Series 6837, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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