Beyond Money: Relating Local School Taxation to Family and Community Risk
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State school finance formulas moved from tax-driven to student needs, while local community taxation requirements remain. However, no study has examined links between student needs risk factors affecting educational opportunity and local taxation choices. Using regression analyses, this study asked: Are local school district taxation levies related to community, family and economic factors? Using eleven years of financial data to examine Missouri's 1993 tax-rate driven formula this study shows community and family risk factors are related to taxation. Some groups that had prior effects on taxation lost this ability under a tax-rate driven formula. As a result, a state's fixed taxation requirement without regard for local risk can potentially harm constitutionally protected educational opportunity, particularly in new student needs formulas that move away from equalizing local taxation and wealth.
Educational Considerations, 2010.