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School District Operational Spending and Student Outcomes: Evidence from Tax Elections in Seven States

We use close tax elections to estimate the impact of school district funding increases on operational spending and education outcomes across seven states. The analysis indicates that districts where tax levies passed spent $400-$500 more annually per pupil through 5-7 years after the election. They directed most of these funds toward increasing instructor salaries. These spending increases correspond to student test score gains of approximately 0.1 of a standard deviation and gains in graduation rates of approximately 3-4 percentage points. There is some evidence of diminishing returns, as these effects are driven by districts below the median in spending per pupil.

Keywords
student achievement, education finance, school districts, tax elections
Education level
Topics
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
10.26300/mdtk-8743

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Abott, Carolyn, Vladimir Kogan, Stéphane Lavertu, and Zachary Peskowitz. (). School District Operational Spending and Student Outcomes: Evidence from Tax Elections in Seven States. (EdWorkingPaper: -25). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/mdtk-8743

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