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Private Contributions and Public School Resources

  • Eric Brunner

    ()

    (Department of Economics, San Diego State University)

  • Jennifer Imazeki

    (Department of Economics, San Diego State University)

In the wake of school finance reforms that limit local tax revenue and, more recently, state budget cuts that have threatened K-12 education spending, an increasing number of schools and school districts have appealed to parents and communities for voluntary contributions to augment school resources. Of course, not all schools benefit equally from these contributions leading to a common concern that voluntary contributions create inequities in school funding across communities. In this paper we examine the size and distribution of voluntary contributions to California’s K-12 public schools in 2001. In addition, we examine how contributions have affected the distribution of resources across schools. Our results indicate that while some schools have been quite successful in raising voluntary contributions, overall, contributions have not led to large inequities in the distribution of resources among high- and low-income schools. Specifically, schools raising particularly high levels of contributions, over $500 per pupil, do tend to have more resources, but these schools are rare and very small. Over ninety-nine percent of California elementary students attend schools where contributions have almost no effect on inputs.

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File URL: http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/dept/econ/WPSeries/WorkingPaper0307.pdf
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Paper provided by San Diego State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0011.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sds:wpaper:0011
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  1. Duncombe, William & Yinger, John, 1998. "School Finance Reform: Aid Formulas and Equity Objectives," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 2), pages 239-62, June.
  2. Alan Krueger & Diane Whitmore, 1999. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," Working Papers 806, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. William Fischel, 2002. "An Economic Case against Vouchers: Why Local Public Schools Are a Local Public Good," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 28(7), pages A0.
  4. Fischel, William A., 2001. "Homevoters, Municipal Corporate Governance, and the Benefit View of the Property Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 157-74, March.
  5. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 2000. "Evidence on the Impact of State Government on Primary and Secondary Education and the Equity-Efficiency Trade-Off," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 285-308, April.
  6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:28:y:2002:i:7:p:a0 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Murray, Sheila E & Evans, William N & Schwab, Robert M, 1998. "Education-Finance Reform and the Distribution of Education Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 789-812, September.
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