The Effects of School Board Consolidation and Financing on Student Performance
Over the last 20 years, states and provinces have become increasingly involved in the financing and administration of elementary and secondary education. Local school boards, however, still retain control over key aspects of the provision of education. Historically, these boards were organized at the community level so as to meet the wants of the local community. Today, states and provinces have become more interested in consolidating school boards and moving to a more centralized funding scheme. Do these changes result in improved student achievement? This paper attempts to answer these questions by examining the school board consolidation and funding changes instituted by the province of Ontario. We differentiate the effects of the policy changes based on observed differences in the school boards prior to consolidation. We show that students in previously high wealth school boards perform worse after the policy change compared to students in previously low wealth school boards.
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