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  • ED 059 526

    TITLE

    INSTITUTION

    SPONS AGENCYPUB DATENOTEAVAILABLE FROM

    DOCUMENT RESUME

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    Future Directions for SchoolDemands for Fiscal Equity inMonograph.National Educational FinanceFla.Of fice of Education (DHEW) Washington, D.C.7163p.National Educational Finance Project, 1212 SouthwestFifth Avenue, Gainesville, Florida 32601

    EA 003 944

    Financing. A Response toAmerican Education. A

    Project, Gainsville,

    EDRS PRICE MF-$0.65 HC-$3.29DESCRIPTORS Costs; Educational Equality; *Educational Finance;

    Educational Needs; *Equal Education; *EqualizationAid; Federal Aid; Financial Support; *FiscalCapacity; *Tax Effort

    IDENTIFIERS Elementary Secondary Education Act Title V; ESEATitle V

    ABSTRACTThis document, part of the NEFP series, explores the

    school financing issues raised by the necessity for bringing abouteducational equality in America. The report analyzes theimpossibility of true equality in educational services while suchgross variation exists in school districts' fiscal capacities,educational needs, and program costs. This volume presents severalmodels for equalization of tax efforts and educational expendituresthrough State and federal aid. Some form of equalization aid,according to the authors, appears to be the most viable solution tothe problem of educational inequities. Funds for this research wereprovided by an ESEA Title V grant. Related documents are EA 003537-540, EA 003 5143, and EA 003 673. (RA)

  • t:-

    tr, FUTURE DIRECTIONSLc%

    FO/RikHOOL FINANCINGwbi /7

    A Response to Demands for

    Fiscal Equity in American Education

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.EDUCATION & WELFAREOFFICE OF EDUCATION

    THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN REPRO-DUCED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED FROMTHE PERSON OR ORGANIZATION ORIG-INATING IT. POINTS OF VIEW OR OPIN-IONS STATED 00 NOT NECESSARILYREPRESENT OFFICIAL OFFICE OF EDUNCATION POSITION OR POLICY.

    National Educational Finance Project*

    411Gainesville, Florida

    Stf 1971

    CD *Funded by U.S. Department of Health, Education and WelfareOffice of Education

  • Financed by Funds Provided Under TheElementary and Secondary Act of 1965(Public Law 89-10, Title V, Sec. 505)and Sponsoring States.

    Copies of this monograph and of the more comprehensive pub-lications of the National Educational Finance Project may beobtained from the project office :

    National Educational Finance Project1212 Southwest Fifth Avenue

    Gainesville, Florida 82601

  • NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL FINANCE PROJECT

    Roe L. Johns, Project DirectorKern Alexander, Associate Director

    Project Research Staff

    Dewey StollarUniversity of Tennessee

    Richard SalmonUniversity of Florida

    Oscar HamiltonUniversity of Florida

    Richard RossmillerUniversity of Wisconsin

    K. Forbis JordanIndiana University

    Gerald BoardmanUniversity of Florida

    William BrileyUniversity of Florida

    Project

    Edgar L. MorphetUniversity of California

    William Mc LureUniversity of Illinois

    Committee

    Erick LindmanUniversity of California

    at Los Angeles

    James KellyColumbia University

    Project Advisory Committee

    Henry ConeColorado Department

    of Education

    James GibbsU.S. Office of Education

    Jean Flanigan Will MyersNational Education Association Advisory Commission

    on IntergovernmentalRelations

    Program Administrators

    U.S. Office of Education

    Harry PhillipsJames Gibbs

    David Phillips

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Page

    I Education and the American Dream 1

    II The Myth of Equal "I'ducation 5

    III A Primer of Education Finance 9

    IV Variations in Fiscal Capacity and Effort 15

    V Factors Which Affect Educational Needs and Costs 21

    VI Responsibility for Achieving Educatioral Equality 31

    VII The Federal Role 33

    VIII Blue-prints for State Educational Equality 39

    IX What Lies Ahead ? 59

  • Education and theAmerican Dream

    American education in the early Seventies is a unique anda t times explosive mixture of idealism, public necessity andbig business. The idealism which has its roots, along withthose of the Constitution of the United States, in the foundingdays of the Nation, is perhaps best expressed in these lastyears of the century as a firm belief in the right of all Ameri-cans to an opportunity for an equal education. The publicnecessity of education has long been recognized : a progressive,healthy body politic requires an intelligent, educated citizenry.The big business aspect of education is manifest in the annualallocation to the nation's schools of more than $39 billions infederal, state and local funds or 4.2% of the gross nationalproduct; in the 2,359,000 teachers, in the many thousands ofpolicy makers, administrators and other personnel, in thephysical plants and equipment, and in all of the other thingsthat go into the awesome task of providing a modern educationfor the more than 51 million school age children of America.

    The business aspects of education are our chief concernshere because without adequate personnel and tools an equaleducational opportunity for all is an obvious impossibility. Thelousiness of education brings us immediately to the problem offinancing such a vast enterprise and to two very basic and im-portant questions:

    1. Where do you get the money needed for edu-cation?

    2. How do you allocate it equally after you get it?

    1

  • Each question raises other issues. For example, it is notjust a matter of getting money but of how to get it in a fairand equitable manner that will place the burden on those bestable to bear it. Then, once the money is in hand, how can itbe allocated to insure an equal educational opportu-qy for allchildren?

    An equal opportunity for all is an integral part of the greatAmerican dream. Americans have always said this is trueand, in large measure, they have supported it with vast sumsof money. American parents rely on it for their children.Equality of opportunity is fundamental in the nation's systemof values.

    What are some of these values we hold so impor-tant in our society, values that are the foundationpillars of education? There are many, but cer-tainly any American educational credo must con-firm that:

    We believe the opportunity to obtain a public educationshould be substantially equal for all children and youth andshould be appropriate to their needs.

    We believe public education should strive to removeclass and caste barriers and to promote social mobility in oursociety.

    We believe that every American child, regardless ofrace, national origin or the economic condition of his parentsshould be given an equal opportunity in the public schools todevelop his talents to their fullest extent in order that he mayhave full access to the benefits of the American social, eco-nomic and political system.

    We believe in American democracy and are convincedthat a broadly based and adequately supported system of pub-lic education for all children is essential to its preservation.

    We believe that by raising the educational level we notonly contribute to the success of popular government, but alsoto the reduction of poverty, crime and dependence upon pro-grams of public welfare.

    And, most importantly, we believe that the educationalopportunity of every individual should be a function of thetotal taxable wealth of the state and should not be limited tothe taxing ability of a local school district.

    2

  • In its detailed study, the National Educational FinanceProject found that ideals and fundamental principles of Amer-ican education must be translated into economic terms if soundand equal financing of the nation's schools is to be achieved.

    We Must Find Ways to Equalize Education AmongChildren

    Since children vary in their educational needs, their perpupil costs vary widely and require substantial financial equal-ization. It is essential to identify the areas of higher cost,e.g., education for the handicapped, compensatory education,vocational programsand provide the funds needed to furnishthese services. In so doing, we must take a straight look atthe differences among children, at the differences in theirneeds and differences in the educational experiences to whichthey should be exposed. By the process of weighting differentcosts it is possible to bring about a high degree of equity infunds for special programs.

    We Must Find Ways to Equalize ExpendituresAmong Districts

    Great inequities exist in the availability of funds for edu-cation in the school districts of nearly every state. As will benoted in this booklet, the variations are primarily the resultof the tremendous differences in the abilities of local districtsto finance education and the methods used by the states to al-locate their revenues for school support. The time has cometo seek new directions in the processes of raising and allocat-ing revenues if we are to achieve the goal of equality in educa-tion.

    We Must Find Ways to Distribute the,Tax BUrden,,1Fairly

    Financing of the public school systems must not only beadequate, but it should also be provided by an equitable andprogressive tax structure primarily based upon ability to payas measured by income, wealth and consumption.

    Equity requires, in addition to distribution of the tax

    3

  • burden on the basis of ability to pay : a) exclusion from taxof persons in the lowest income groups on grounds that theyhave no taxpaying capacity, and b) a progressive overall dis-tribution of tax relative to income.

    In addition to the total taxable wealth of t,he state, the tax-able wealth of the nation should also be utilized for educa-tional financing to insure the quality and equity of public ed

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