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Capital Financing for Education

This entry defines capital spending before providing an overview of the approaches used to finance capital spending in primary and secondary education in the United States. The approaches are then detailed by level of government (e.g., local, state, and federal), in order of importance for financing capital spending on education. Public schools and other educational buildings constitute a major component of public infrastructure, one that grew dramatically to accommodate the postwar baby boom. Spending accelerated through the following decades in response to successful litigation challenging the equity of existing state capital finance systems, continued enrollment growth, class-size reduction mandates, and shifts in technology needs.

State governments have played an increasingly important role in financing education capital spending. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 2002 to ...

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