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School District Wealth

Almost all state school finance equalization formulas require some measure of a school district’s fiscal capacity—that is, a measure of a district’s ability to raise funds for schools locally. This is commonly referred to as a district’s wealth. In keeping with the use of the property tax as the most common local source of school revenue, district wealth is typically measured by the assessed property valuation per pupil, although some states also use alternative measures in conjunction with property values. In addition to playing a key role in state funding formulas, district wealth is often used in state-level measures of school finance equity. This entry first explores this connection between district wealth and equity in school funding, then highlights some of the concerns about using ...

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