Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Comparable Wages, Inflation, and School Finance Equity

Lori L. Taylor
Education Finance and Policy
Vol. 1, No. 3 (Summer 2006), pp. 349-371
Published by: The MIT Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/educfinapoli.1.3.349
Page Count: 23
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Item Type
Article
References
Comparable Wages, Inflation, and School Finance Equity
Preview not available

Abstract

Abstract A ComparableWage Index (CWI) is an attractive mechanism for measuring geographic variations in the cost of education. A CWI measures uncontrollable variations in educator pay by observing systematic variations in the earnings of comparable workers who are not educators. Together, the 2000 census and the Occupational Employment Statistics survey support the construction of just such an index. The resulting panel of index values measures wage levels in all parts of the United States from 1997 through 2004 and reveals substantial variation in purchasing power both across school districts and across time. Such inequalities undermine the equity and adequacy goals of school finance formulas. If states were successfully directing additional resources to school districts in high-cost environments, then measured inequality within states should fall when differences in purchasing power are taken into account. Instead, cost adjustment widens the spending gap in all but a handful of states.

Page Thumbnails