SCHOOL-FINANCE - 50 YEARS OF EXPANSION

Authors
Citation
Jw. Guthrie, SCHOOL-FINANCE - 50 YEARS OF EXPANSION, The Future of children, 7(3), 1997, pp. 24-38
Citations number
27
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Journal title
ISSN journal
1054-8289
Volume
7
Issue
3
Year of publication
1997
Pages
24 - 38
Database
ISI
SICI code
1054-8289(1997)7:3<24:S-5YOE>2.0.ZU;2-L
Abstract
Since 1949-50, per-pupil expenditures in public elementary and seconda ry schools have more than quadrupled, even after adjusting for inflati on. This article discusses some of the reasons. A significant share of the increase is the result of an 86% inflation-adjusted increase in t eachers' salaries between 1949-50 and 1971-72, although teachers' sala ries have changed little in the following 25 years. The ratio of stude nts to school employees has dropped by half since 1949-50 as a result of declining class sizes and the hiring of more nonteaching school emp loyees, which significantly affects costs. Even maintaining class size at a constant level will cause school budgets to grow at a rate great er than that of inflation because schools must compete in a labor mark et against other employers who are able to produce more with fewer emp loyees. A substantial part of the increase in per-pupil spending is a result of expansions in services provided by the schools. More expensi ve, specialized classes for high school students, compensatory educati on for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, special education and related services for students with disabilities, and desegregation eff orts all contribute to higher costs. Efforts to improve funding equity have led to increased expenditures: rather than take funding from wea lthier districts, most states prefer to raise the funding available to schools at the bottom and the middle of the scale, increasing total s pending. Finally, a share of the total increase must be attributed to the workings of the political system governing schools.