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The Effects of School Board Consolidation and Financing on Student Performance

  • John Leach
  • A. Abigail Payne
  • Steve Chan

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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File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/archive/2010-02.pdf
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Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2010-02.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2010-02
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  1. Marvin E. Dodson & Thomas A. Garrett, 2004. "Inefficient Education Spending in Public School Districts: A Case for Consolidation?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(2), pages 270-280, 04.
  2. Nora Gordon & Brian Knight, 2008. "The Effects of School District Consolidation on Educational Cost and Quality," Public Finance Review, , vol. 36(4), pages 408-430, July.
  3. Duncombe, William & Miner, Jerry & Ruggiero, John, 1995. "Potential cost savings from school district consolidation: A case study of New York," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 265-284, September.
  4. Driscoll, Donna & Halcoussis, Dennis & Svorny, Shirley, 2003. "School district size and student performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 193-201, April.
  5. Brasington, David M., 1997. "School District Consolidation, Student Performance, and Housing Values," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 27(2).
  6. Miguel Urquiola, 2005. "Does School Choice Lead to Sorting? Evidence from Tiebout Variation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1310-1326, September.
  7. Donald Haurin & David Brasington, 1996. "The Impact of School Quality on Real House Prices: Interjurisdictional Effects," Working Papers 010, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Miceli Thomas J., 1993. "The Decision to Regionalize in the Provision of Education: An Application of the Tiebout Model," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 344-360, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Brasington, David M., 1999. "Joint provision of public goods: the consolidation of school districts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 373-393, September.
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