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Let No Child Be Left Behind: Determining the Cost of Improving Student Performance

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  • Andrew Reschovsky
  • Jennifer Imazeki

Abstract

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and recent legislation in a number of states have raised the standards for accountability in schools, with the objective of closing achievement gaps and increasing student performance overall. These new education policies, however, rarely address the way in which schools are financed. They ignore the fact that characteristics of schools and students require that some schools spend more than others to achieve any given student performance standard. To determine the characteristics that lead to variations in the costs of achieving a specified improvement in student performance, the authors estimate an educational cost function using data from elementary and secondary school districts in Texas. Results indicate that cost differences across districts can be quite large. The cost function results are summarized into a cost index that can then be used in a simple formula to guarantee that every district has sufficient fiscal resources to achieve state-imposed performance goals.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:31:y:2003:i:3:p:263-290
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Simanti Bandyopadhyay, 2013. "Estimating Fiscal Health of Cities: A Methodological Framework for Developing Countries," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1319, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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, vol. 64(1), pages 193-218, March.
    10. Simanti Bandyopadhyay, 2014. "Some New Thoughts on Performance Evaluation of Governments: An Application to Indian Cities," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1430, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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