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The Effects of Financial Resources on Test Pass Rates: Evidence from Vermont’s Equal Education Opportunity Act


  • Molly Sherlock

    (Congressional Research Service, Washington, DC, USA,


This article explores the impact of changes in financial resources on student performance under Vermont’s Equal Education Opportunity Act (Act 60). Under Act 60, per-pupil resources changed from year to year for many Vermont towns. This article asks whether these changes in resources were associated with changes in student performance as measured by pass rates on standardized tests. Using annual data on spending at pass rates, fixed effects and instrumental variables estimation techniques are employed. Changes in town spending under Vermont’s Act 60 may have had a positive impact on fourth-grade math pass rates. However, these spending changes did not significantly affect reading or writing pass rates. There is suggestive, but inconclusive, evidence that additional resources were more effective at increasing test score pass rates in initially low-spending schools. There is not, however, any evidence that money was more effective in schools that were initially low achieving.

Suggested Citation

  • Molly Sherlock, 2011. "The Effects of Financial Resources on Test Pass Rates: Evidence from Vermont’s Equal Education Opportunity Act," Public Finance Review, , vol. 39(3), pages 331-364, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:39:y:2011:i:3:p:331-364

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    education finance; student achievement; Act 60;


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