Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

K–12 school funding and resource allocation: The effect of White flight on education funding among public school districts in Rust Belt states
by Gibson, John A., Ed.D., Northern Illinois University, 2010, 128; 3439665
Abstract (Summary)

Since the 1960s, the White flight phenomenon changed the racial makeup of populations within large urban cities. During the same time period, there was a shifting of the burden for funding elementary and secondary education in the urban cities from local property taxes to state and federal aid. This study analyzes historical U.S. Census Bureau population and education revenue data to determine if White flight was a factor in the shifting of education funding in large urban school districts from local property tax revenues to state and federal funding.

Education for Blacks in the U.S. has been underfunded since its inception after the end of slavery. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education that separate education was not equal, White flight perpetuated segregation by separating Black and White students among urban and suburban school districts, respectively. White flight created disparities in education funding between Black and White school districts by decreasing the amount of property tax funding available to the Black school districts.

This study finds significant correlations between White flight and property tax revenue reductions in 12 of 16 Rust Belt cities from 1960 to 2000. It also finds statistical evidence of disparities in property tax revenue among school districts with high minority enrollments. State and federal grant funds increased during 1960 to 2000 to offset the loss of property tax revenue in these urban school districts, but those grant funds have not closed this funding gap. Further study of suburb-to-suburb population changes, revenue and population changes in suburban Rust Belt cities, and school district spending policies is recommended for future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Saban, Joseph M.
Commitee: Jacobson, John W., Johnson, Donald R.
School: Northern Illinois University
Department: Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 72/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education finance, Demography
Keywords: Education funding, Equity, Funding, Property tax, Resource allocation, Rust Belt, State and federal aid, White flight
Publication Number: 3439665
ISBN: 978-1-124-44977-7
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