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Fiscal Environment

Whether comparing governments or school districts, dissimilarities in expenditures and revenues are extensive. Understanding why differences are commonplace and evaluating the appropriateness of variations require knowledge of the fiscal environments within which public expenditures are budgeted and revenues acquired. A jurisdiction’s fiscal environment is a place-specific mixture of circumstances that establishes service production costs, spending pressures, and resource availability. This entry describes key components of fiscal environments and how a government’s budgetary circumstance is shaped by, and sets the stage for, both spending choices and tax burdens. This entry then explains how the combination of disparities in fiscal environments and distinctive policy responses to conditions produces public service diversity and helps explain differences in learning opportunities and tax burdens across American school districts.

Service Production Costs

The ...

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