Budget Allocation by School Districts

An Analysis of Spending for Teachers and Other Resources

by Stephen M. Barro, Stephen J. Carroll


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The study attempts to determine how much of any increment in a school district's budget tends to be used (1) to increase the teacher-pupil ratio, (2) to raise the teachers' salary schedule, (3) to hire teachers with more experience and training, (4) to pay for professional personnel other than teachers, and (5) to purchase other resources. It also examines variations in resource allocation patterns among districts with different socioeconomic characteristics. The analysis is based on cross-sectional comparisons among 195 Michigan school districts, using data from the 1968-1969 and 1969-1970 school years. Part of this study replicates a similar study done with California data. Mutually supporting findings provide a reasonable basis for believing that the cross-sectional model accurately represents the effects of changes in the school district budget on expenditure components, teacher-pupil ratio, and staff-pupil ratio.

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