Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Poster Paper: Availabile School Resources, District Expenditures, and Student Performance

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Riverfront South/Central (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Corbin Leonard Miller and Jason Cook, Cornell University
We explore the relationship between school resources and academic achievement by assessing whether student outcomes are affected by targeted resource expansions differently than by general resource expansions, which provide districts added discretion over resource allocation. Using over ten years of property tax elections in a regression discontinuity framework we compare the response of school district expenditures and student outcomes to quasi-experimental revenue expansions generated from passing capital bond levies to expansions from passing general purpose levies. Narrowly passed levies for capital spending lead to increased capital expenditures, but we find no effect on student outcomes. Conversely, districts that narrowly pass general purpose levies spend more on support services and instructional expenditures and exhibit short-term increases in student achievement and long-term increases of within-district housing prices. Districts narrowly passing a general purpose levy also experience a decrease in revenue and expenditures for capital projects for up to 6 years after the election, suggesting some crowd out between levy types.