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School Finance Equity Statistics

Employing statistics to measure equity in school financing has been important to public education in the United States since at least the middle of the 19th century, when public provision and financing of elementary and, later, secondary education became common. Historically, schools have been financed primarily by states and localities (mostly school districts), with state shares of that financing increasing and local shares decreasing since the middle of the 20th century. While local financing is almost entirely derived from taxation of residential and commercial property, which is unequally available across districts, state financing is usually generated from state sales and income taxes, and has aimed to equalize the resources available to a state’s students. This goal, to equalize resources, motivates the desire to measure the ...

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