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Educational resources and student achievement: Evidence from the Save Harmless provision in New York State

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  • Gigliotti, Philip
  • Sorensen, Lucy C.

Abstract

A long-standing debate in the economics of education literature is whether increasing educational resources moves the needle on student achievement. Education finance reformers advocate delivering extra resources to disadvantaged school districts to close academic achievement gaps, but their efforts are subject to criticism from skeptics who believe that extra resources do not actually improve performance. This study leverages variation in per-pupil expenditures from a specific provision of the state aid formula in New York State that allows districts to maintain prior levels of total state aid even as their student enrollment declines. We uncover achievement gains of approximately 0.047 standard deviations in math and 0.042 standard deviations in English corresponding to $1000 in additional per-pupil spending. This study strengthens the case that school resources matter, and that sustained financial investments can help districts maintain and improve quality of public education.

Suggested Citation

  • Gigliotti, Philip & Sorensen, Lucy C., 2018. "Educational resources and student achievement: Evidence from the Save Harmless provision in New York State," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 167-182.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:66:y:2018:i:c:p:167-182
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2018.08.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Longo & Karl Claxton & James Lomas & Stephen Martin, 2020. "Does public long-term care expenditure improve care-related quality of life in England?," Working Papers 172cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
    2. Bo Zhao, 2020. "Estimating the Cost Function of Connecticut Public K–12 Education: Implications for Inequity and Inadequacy in School Spending," Working Papers 20-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    3. De Groote, Olivier, 2019. "A dynamic model of effort choice in high school," TSE Working Papers 19-1002, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jun 2020.
    4. María Orduz, 2022. "Effect of educational spending on academic performance under different institutional arrangements," Documentos CEDE 020224, Universidad de los Andes – Facultad de Economía – CEDE.
    5. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2018. "Does School Spending Matter? The New Literature on an Old Question," NBER Working Papers 25368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kreisman, Daniel & Steinberg, Matthew P., 2019. "The effect of increased funding on student achievement: Evidence from Texas's small district adjustment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 118-141.
    7. Cordis, Adriana S. & Muzatko, Steven, 2021. "Higher education spending and CPA exam performance," Journal of Accounting Education, Elsevier, vol. 55(C).
    8. Brunner, Eric & Hoen, Ben & Hyman, Joshua, 2022. "School district revenue shocks, resource allocations, and student achievement: Evidence from the universe of U.S. wind energy installations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 206(C).
    9. Francesco Longo & Karl Claxton & James Lomas & Stephen Martin, 2021. "Does public long‐term care expenditure improve care‐related quality of life of service users in England?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(10), pages 2561-2581, September.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare

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