School Funding and State-Level Racial Inequality of Educational Achievement

Emily Rauscher , Brown University

Racial segregation between districts has increased and funding inequality is arguably larger between rather than within districts and states. These trends suggest the importance of examining the relationship between education funding and racial inequality of educational achievement at the state-level, which incorporates inequality both within and between districts. Using 1990-2015 state-level NAEP data by race, I address two questions: Are White-Black achievement gaps related to education funding and the fairness of its distribution? Do these relationships vary by funding source? Results from models including state and year fixed effects suggest gaps depend more on local revenue than other revenue sources. However, achievement gaps depend more consistently on the fairness of revenue distribution than the revenue amount.

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 Presented in Session 124. Flash Session: Causes and Consequences of Educational Inequalities