This paper examines the fiscal condition of Nebraska's school districts with a methodology previously applied to municipalities. Fiscal condition is a district's ability to provide educational services of average quality at an average tax burden on its residents. Its key determinants are income per pupil, the ability to export the property tax burden to non-residents, and the cost of educational services. Nebraska contains over 900 school districts, which range from elementary-only districts with fewer than ten stydents to large, full-service districts in Lincoln and Omaha. The largest and smallest districts are in the best fiscal condition, on average, but fiscal condition varies widely among districts with the same size or responsibilities. Despite one equalizing aid program, the overall impact of Nebraska's state aid is to magnify slightly existing fiscal disparities. A major consolidation plan could lessen these disparities and might save tax-payers money by taking advantage of economies of scale.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics