Equity and Accountability: The Impact of State Accountability Systems on School Finance

Rubenstein, R. & Ballal, S., Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E.
Journal of Public Budgeting & Finance, 28 (3): 1-22

Using an 11-year panel data set containing information on revenues, expenditures, and demographics for every school district in the United States, we examine the effects of state-adopted school accountability systems on the adequacy and equity of school resources. We find little relationship between state implementation of accountability systems and changes in school finance equity, though we do find evidence that states in which courts overturned the school finance system during the decade exhibited significant equity improvements. Additionally, while implementation of accountability per se does not appear linked to changes in resource adequacy, states that implemented strong accountability systems did experience improvements.

Wagner Faculty