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cadolph at uw dot edu

← Reports and unpublished papers

Playing Favorites:
How Parties Distribute School Finance by Income and Race

21 June 2001

Christopher Adolph

A partisan legislative logic influences the distribution of school funding in the American states. Regression analysis and simulation using data on state aid to American school districts from 1992–1997 reveals three aspects of partisan education policy. First, partisan state governments allocate resources towards their core constituents – as grouped by income and race – while matching each other in funding the median voter. Second, students in low income or densely black districts benefit substantially from Democratic control of the state government, but receive a smaller share of the state education budget under Republican regimes. Finally, the party-mediated effect of race on educational resource distribution is even greater than the party-mediated income bias.

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