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School Finance Over Time

How Changing Structures Affect Support for K-12 Education

Sheila E. Murray and Kim Rueben

August 2007, English

Over the last 30 years, state governments have played an increasing role in funding K-12 education. This increasing role for state governments has followed the passage of school finance equalization law suits and the introduction of property tax limits in many states. This paper examines the changing reliance on the property tax and changes in state and local spending in states with and without school finance equalization decisions and property tax limits. We find increasing reliance on state aid in states that have undergone these institutional changes, with California facing the largest changes.