Education Finance

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Education Finance

The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies is growing its expertise in education finance and education policy. Recent and notable work includes researh on charter schools, the impact of the Great Recession and college loan debt. Additionally, in 2011, the school recruited one of the nation’s pre-eminent scholars on charter schools, Tim Sass.

Notable Reports

Post-Recession School District Property Tax Revenues in Georgia

CSLF Report, Publication No. 21, Dec. 15, 2015, Nicholas Warner
Although median home values began growing in FY 2013, school districts have just begun feeling the positive effects: The statewide per student property tax digest increased by 1.6 percent in FY 2015. This growth comes after five consecutive years of declines. This brief provides an update to “The Great Recession and School District Property Tax Revenues in Georgia” by examining recent changes in districts’ per student digests during FY 2015.

    Georgia's Equalization Grant

    CSLF Report, Publication No. 35. May 23, 2017, Nicholas Warner
    This report looks at Georgia's Equalization Grant, which was introduced as part of the Quality Basic Education Act in 1985 and first funded in 1987. It examines the basics of the grant calculation, as well as discusses the grant’s ability to close the funding gap between low and high property wealth districts and how reliant these school districts have been on the equalization grant. Legislative changes to the equalization grant calculation and their effect on funding levels also are outlined.

    The Effect of Start-up Charter Schools on Nearby Property Values

    CSLF Report, Publication No. 34. May 5, 2017, Peter Bluestone, David Sjoquist and Nick Warner
    This is the second in a three-part series of studies commissioned by the State Charter Schools Commission and performed by the Center for State and Local Finance that analyze the economic impact of start-up charter schools on the communities they serve and on the state of Georgia as a whole. This second report examines the effect that start-up charter schools have on property values of nearby homes.

    Georgia's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education: Review of Trends and Policy Implications

    CSLF Report, Publication No. 31. Feb. 7, 2017, Ross Rubenstein and Nick Warner
    ESPLOST, or special purpose local option sales tax for education, provides a unique way for districts to substitute current revenues (via a penny sales tax) for debt financing. The authors examine this funding tool in school districts throughout Georgia, outlining trends and policy considerations.

        Post-Recession School District Property Tax Revenues in Georgia

        CSLF Report, Publication No. 21, Dec. 15, 2015, Nicholas Warner
        Although median home values began growing in FY 2013, school districts have just begun feeling the positive effects: The statewide per student property tax digest increased by 1.6 percent in FY 2015. This growth comes after five consecutive years of declines. This brief provides an update to “The Great Recession and School District Property Tax Revenues in Georgia” by examining recent changes in districts’ per student digests during FY 2015.

        Financing Georgia's Schools

        CSLF Report, Publication No. 19, Oct. 20, 2015, Elton Davis and Isabel Ruthotto
        This report begins with a review of Georgia's traditional K-12 public school system structure, including the legal framework, local system organization, and an overview of funding sources. Then, state, local and federal sources used to finance K-12 education are explained. Charter school funding is also included in the report.

        Willing to Pay: Charter Schools' Impact on Georgia Property Values

        FRC Report, Publication No. 271, Aug. 18, 2015, Carlianne Patrick
        This report looks at whether homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for access to charter schools in Georgia. The research looks at 13 charter schools with enrollment priority zones, and it finds that on average home sale prices are 7 to 13 percent higher in the zone with the greatest chance for enrollment. The report also gives an overview of features and structure of charter schools in Georgia.

        The Great Recession and School District Property Tax Revenues in Georgia

        CSLF Policy Brief , Publication No. 9, Feb. 10, 2015, Nicholas Warner
        The author outlines how declines in property values post-recession have greatly affected Georgia school districts, most especially those located in metro Atlanta.

        Student Loan Debt: Comparing Trends in Georgia to a National Sample

        CSLF Report, Publication No. 8, Jan. 27, 2015, Fred Brooks
        This report compares student loan borrowers in Georgia to those across the nation, and it finds that borrowers here have been more influenced by the Great Recession.

          Georgia's Tax Credit Scholarship Program

          FRC Report, Publication No. 268, November 2014, Robert Buschman, David Sjoquist
          This report examines the cost of the tax credit relative to the savings to state and local governments when students enroll in private rather than public schools.

          School District Education Expenditures in Response to the Great Recession

          FRC Report 265, January 10, 2014, Carolyn Bourdeaux, Nicholas Warner
          This report examines the structure of school district expenditures between 2001 and 2012 with a particular focus on changes in instructional expenditures during the recession.

          Trends in Georgia School Staffing 2001-2012

          FRC Brief 266, January 10, 2014, Nicholas Warner
          This brief examines the changes in teacher and administrator education, experience, and compensation over the last 10 years with a focus on the possible effect of the Great Recession.

            A Briefing on Georgia's Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Budget With a Focus on Education Funding

            Presentation, November 01, 2013, Carolyn Bourdeaux
            A presentation to the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education.

            A Briefing on Georgia's Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Budget With a Focus on Education Funding - Video

            Presentation, November 01, 2013, Carolyn Bourdeaux
            A presentation to the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education.

            The Effect of Georgia's HOPE Scholarship on College Major: A Focus on STEM

            Presentation, November 01, 2013, David Sjoquist, Jon Winters
            A presentation to the annual Southern Economics Association Conference, and was part of a session called "Issues Associated with the Choice of College Major."

            Property Tax and Education: Have We Reached the Limit?

            FRC Report 255, January 11, 2013, Sohani Fatehin, David L. Sjoquist
            This report explores changes over the past decade in property taxes used to fund K-12 education and discusses the future of the property tax for education.

              Snapshot of Georgia School District Expenditures and the Response to the 2008 Recession, A

              FRC Brief 252, December 11, 2012, Carolyn Bourdeaux, Nicholas Warner
              This brief provides a short review of expenditures in Georgia's school districts over the past decade (2001-2011) with a particular focus on school district cutback responses to the 2008 recession in overall expenditures as well as within various expenditure categories.

              Impact of the Recession on School Revenues Across the State

              FRC Report 251, November 16, 2012, Cynthia S. Searcy
              This report examines the impact of the 2008 recession on inflation-adjusted, per pupil revenues in Georgia and explores the characteristics of districts most adversely affected by revenue shortfalls.

              School Facility Funding in Georgia and the Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST)

              FRC Report 250, October 13, 2012, Eric J. Brunner, Nicholas Warner
              This report reviews Georgia's system of school facility finance, emphasizing the role of the Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST).

              School Facility Funding in Georgia and the Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) - Brief

              FRC Brief 250, October 13, 2012, Eric J. Brunner, Nicholas Warner
              This brief reviews Georgia's system of school facility finance, emphasizing the role of the Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST).

                  Informing Lottery Budget Decisions: HOPE and Pre-K

                  FRC Report 215, October 01, 2010, David L. Sjoquist, Mary Beth Walker
                  This report address how different allocations of lottery revenue between the Pre-K and HOPE programs might affect the achievement of the objectives of these two programs.

                  Recent Changes in State and Local Funding for Education in Georgia - Brief

                  FRC Brief 200, September 01, 2009, James R. Alm, David L. Sjoquist
                  This brief examines how the 2001 recession affected K-12 education spending in Georgia school systems.

                  Recent Changes in State and Local Funding for Education in Georgia

                  FRC Report 200, September 01, 2009, James R. Alm, David L. Sjoquist
                  This report examines how the 2001 recession affected K-12 education spending in Georgia school systems.

                  Examination of the Financial Health of Georgia's Start-Up Charter Schools - Brief, An

                  FRC Brief 197, July 01, 2009, William D. Duncombe, Cynthia S. Searcy
                  This brief examines the financial health of start-up charter schools in Georgia during the 2006-07 school year.

                  Examination of the Financial Health of Georgia's Start-Up Charter Schools, An

                  FRC Report 197, July 01, 2009, Cynthia S. Searcy, William D. Duncombe
                  This report examines the financial health of start-up charter schools in Georgia during the 2006-07 school year.

                  Variation in Teacher Salaries in Georgia

                  FRC Report 183, August 01, 2008, John V. Winters
                  This report documents the variation in K-12 public school teacher salaries in Georgia and discusses the causes of variation in teacher salaries within and across districts.

                  Estimates of the Effects on Property Tax Exemptions Under Assessment Caps Proposed in HR 1246

                  FRC Report 181, July 01, 2008, John W. Matthews
                  This report estimates the effect of assessment caps proposed in HB 1246 on county, school district, and city tax base growth.

                  Analysis of a Need-Based Student Aid Program for Georgia - Brief, An

                  FRC Brief 178, May 01, 2008, Nara Monkam, Lakshmi Pandey, et al.
                  This brief explores issues associated with establishing a need-based student aid program in Georgia.

                  Analysis of a Need-Based Student Aid Program for Georgia, An

                  FRC Report 178, May 01, 2008, Nara Monkam, Lakshmi Pandey, et al.
                  This report explores issues associated with establishing a need-based student aid program in Georgia.

                  Forecasting Pre-K Enrollment in Georgia Counties

                  FRC Report 152, April 01, 2007, Nikola Tasi_, Sally Wallace
                  This report provides a manual that documents the forecasting methodology and provides the actual forecast of Pre-K enrollment by county for 2007-2011.

                  Analysis of the Financing of Higher Education in Georgia, An

                  FRC Report 142, February 01, 2007, Nara Monkam
                  This report addresses the issue of the financing of higher education in Georgia by comparing financing in Georgia with other states and examining how financing affects the student population in terms of performance, and retention rates.

                  Effects of Population Growth on Atlanta Public School's Revenue and Expenditures

                  Policy Memorandum, December 01, 2006, David L. Sjoquist, Robert Eger III
                  This memorandum explores the likely effect of population growth on property tax revenue and school expenditures for the Atlanta Public School system.

                  Adequate Funding of Education in Georgia: What Does It Mean, What Might It Cost, How Could It Be Implemented? - Brief

                  FRC Brief 129, May 01, 2006, David L. Sjoquist, Abdullah Khan
                  This brief contains a discussion of what adequate funding for education means and how it has been estimated for other states. The report then explores the financial implications for Georgia of funding adequacy.

                  Adequate Funding of Education in Georgia: What Does It Mean, What Might It Cost, How Could It Be Implemented?

                  FRC Report 129, May 01, 2006, David L. Sjoquist, Abdullah Khan
                  This report contains a discussion of what adequate funding for education means and how it has been estimated for other states. The report then explores the financial implications for Georgia of funding adequacy.

                  Property Tax Burdens in Georgia's School Districts

                  Fiscal Impact 11, February 08, 2006, The FRC
                  This Fiscal Impact brief discusses several issues concerning Georgia's property taxes for school purposes, including the distribution of school property tax burdens and reasons for variations in these burdens.

                  Financing an Increased State Role in Funding K-12 Education: An Analysis of Issues and Options

                  FRC Report 114, October 01, 2005, Peter Bluestone, John Matthews, David L. Sjoquist, et al.
                  This report presents an analysis of replacing school property tax with alternative state revenue sources.

                  Development Impact Fees for Schools in Georgia

                  Policy Memorandum, August 29, 2005, John W. Matthews
                  This memorandum looks at the extent of the use of Impact Fees for schools elsewhere, Georgia Law as it presently affects the ability to use Impact Fees in this state, the mechanics of Impact Fees as they relate to school funding, the timing of the collection of Impact Fees and construction, and whether Impact Fees should fund the total cost of a new school.

                  School Start Dates

                  Policy Memorandum, August 29, 2005, David L. Sjoquist
                  The staff of the Fiscal Research Center has discussed at some length the issue of the effect of school start dates and scheduling breaks on sales tax revenue. We have also sought help from people outside the Center. Despite this, we are at a loss as to how to measure this effect.

                  Tax Revenue Volatility and a State-Wide Education Sales Tax - Brief

                  FRC Brief 109, June 01, 2005, John W. Matthews
                  This brief examines issues of revenue source stability raised by proposals to shift K-12 education costs from local property taxes to a state-wide sales tax.

                  Initial Evaluation of a Proposed Statewide Education Sales Tax, An

                  FRC Report 98, December 01, 2004, David L. Sjoquist, William J. Smith, John W. Matthews
                  This report provides a preliminary analysis of a proposal to replace education property taxes with a statewide sales tax.

                  Financing Georgia's Schools: A Primer

                  FRC Report 87, October 01, 2003, Ross Rubenstein, David L. Sjoquist
                  This report provides an explanation of how K-12 education is financed in Georgia.

                  Racial Segregation in Georgia Public Schools, 1994-2001: Trends, Causes, and Impact on Teacher Quality

                  FRC Report 77, November 01, 2002, Catherine Freeman, Benjamin Scafid, David L. Sjoquist
                  This report looks at recent trends in segregation and its impact on teacher quality in the state of Georgia.

                  Do Local Sales Taxes for Education Increase Inequities? The Case of Georgia's ESPLOST

                  FRC Report 72, June 01, 2002, Ross Rubenstein, Catherine Freeman
                  This report examines the equity effects of Georgia's use of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (ESPLOST).

                  Racial Disparities in School Finance Adequacy: Evidence From Georgia and the Nation

                  FRC Report 61, July 01, 2001, Ross Rubenstein
                  This report explores the relationship between the level of education expenditures and the racial composition of school districts in Georgia and the nation and estimates the cost of achieving benchmarks for school finance adequacy.

                  School Flexibility and Accountability

                  FRC Report 51, November 01, 2000, Benjamin Scafidi, Catherine Freeman, Stanley DeJarnett
                  This report presents a discussion and a menu of alternatives for school flexibility and accountability.

                  Provision of An Equitable Public School Finance Structure in Georgia

                  FRC Report 43, February 01, 2000, Ross H. Rubenstein
                  This report presents options for reducing inequities in the funding of Georgia's public school districts.

                  Rewards for High Student Achievement and Interventions for Persistently Low Student Achievement - Brief

                  FRC Brief 39, December 01, 1999, Benjamin Scafidi, the GERSC
                  This brief prepared for the Governor's Education Reform Study Commission Accountability Committee (GERSC) discusses issues and design of education accountability programs and a menu of options for education reform.

                  Rewards for High Student Achievement and Interventions for Persistently Low Student Achievement

                  FRC Report 39, December 01, 1999, Benjamin Scafidi, the GERSC
                  This report prepared for the Governor's Education Reform Study Commission Accountability Committee (GERSC) discusses issues and design of education accountability programs and a menu of options for education reform.

                  Distribution of Public Education Funding in Georgia, 1992: Equity From a National Perspective

                  FRC Report 32, April 01, 1999, Ross H. Rubenstein, Dwight R. Doering, Michele Moser
                  This report compares the inter-district equity of school revenue in Georgia with that of all other states.

                  Distribution of Public Education Funding in Georgia, 1992: Equity From a National Perspective - Brief

                  FRC Brief 32, April 01, 1999, Ross H. Rubenstein, Dwight R. Doering, Michele Moser
                  This brief compares the inter-district equity of school revenue in Georgia with that of all other states.

                  The Impact of House Bill No. 129 on Funding for Central Administration in the School Districts of Georgia

                  FRC Brief 25, November 01, 1998, Dwight R. Doering
                  This brief represents an analysis of the impact of HB 129 on the funding of the central administration function in Georgia's school districts.

                  Equity of Public Education Funding in Georgia, 1988-1996

                  FRC Report 23, October 01, 1998, Ross H. Rubenstein, Dwight R. Doering, Larry R. Gess
                  A study of the effect of Quality Basic Education on the level of equity of public education funding in Georgia.

                  Equity of Public Education Funding in Georgia, 1988-1996, The - Brief

                  FRC Brief 23, October 01, 1998, Ross H. Rubenstein, Dwight R. Doering, Larry R. Gess
                  A study of the effect of Quality Basic Education on the level of equity of public education funding in Georgia.

                  A Review of Georgia's Quality Basic Education Formula Fiscal Year 1987 Through 1998

                  FRC Brief 21, September 21, 1998, Dwight R. Doering, Larry R. Gess
                  A review of how funding per student for each formula component of Quality Basic Education (QBE) changed between 1987 and 1998.

                  Structure of School Districts in Georgia: Economies of Scale and Determinants of Consolidation, The

                  FRC Report 16, July 01, 1998, L.F. Jameson Boex, Jorge Martinez-Vasquez
                  An analysis of economies of scale in primary and secondary education in Georgia and its relation to school district consolidation.

                  Structure of School Districts in Georgia: Economies of Scale and Determinants of Consolidation, The - Brief

                  FRC Brief 16, July 01, 1998, L.F. Jameson Boex, Jorge Martinez-Vasquez
                  An analysis of economies of scale in primary and secondary education in Georgia and its relation to school district consolidation.

                  Interdistrict School Choice in Georgia: Issues of Equity

                  FRC Report 6, May 01, 1998, Dwight R. Doering
                  A description of the interdistrict school choice programs in Georgia with a focus on equity issues.

                  Interdistrict School Choice in Georgia: Issues of Equity - Brief

                  FRC Brief 6, May 01, 1998, Dwight R. Doering
                  A description of the interdistrict school choice programs in Georgia with a focus on equity issues.