This paper breaks new ground in the debate on school finance and equality of per pupil school expenditures. We are able to allocate expenditures per pupil at the *individual* student and family income level. This allows us to examine both student and school district characteristics and to assess several measures of equality of expenditure across the income distribution of parents and by funding sources. We find a surprising degree of equality in the actual amounts expended per child in low- vs. high-income families. But adjusting for student needs to reach equivalent education expenditures results in much greater inequality over the income distribution. Policy implications for school finance and increased equality of educational opportunity are drawn in closing.
Educational finance, Education, human development, income distribution, migration
Working Papers Series
Wilson, Kathryn; Lambright, Kristina T.; and Smeeding, Timothy M., "School Finance, Equivalent Educational Expenditure, and Income Distribution: Equal Dollars or Equal Chances for Success?" (2004). Center for Policy Research. 101.
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