The Effect of School Finance Reforms on the Distribution of Spending, Academic Achievement and Adult Outcomes

Project: Research project


Between 1970 and 1995, in an effort to ensure equal educational opportunity for all children, most states adopted School Finance Reforms (SRFs) that led do important changes to how public education was funded. Existing research indicates that while such reforms had the intended effect of reducing inequality in per-pupil spending across wealthy and poor districts, certain reforms also have the unintended effect of reducing overall educational spending in a state. We aim to analyze the effect of these reforms on state distributions of school spending, academic achievement, and long-run adult outcomes. This project will consist of two analyses. In the first analysis, we will analyze the effects of different types of SFRs on both the distribution and level of education spending in a state. For the second part of the analysis, we will link test scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NEAP) and adult outcomes from Census data to the timing of SFRs in an individual’s state of schooling (NAEP) or state of birth (Census).
Effective start/end date9/1/13 → 8/31/16


  • National Science Foundation (SES-1324778)


academic achievement
educational opportunity
public education
level of education