NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Why Do School District Budget Referenda Fail?

Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Randy A. Ehrenberg, Christopher L. Smith, Liang Zhang

NBER Working Paper No. 9088
Issued in August 2002
NBER Program(s):   PE   ED

Our paper analyzes historical data for New York State on the percentagee of school budget proposals that are defeated each year and panel data that we have collected on budget vote success for indvidual school districts in the state. We find that changes in state aid matter, but not as much as one might expect. Defeating a budget proposal in one year neither increases nor decreases the likelihood that voters will defeat a proposal the next year. Districts whose school board members have longer terms have lower probabilities of having their budget proposals defeated. Finally, measures of school district educational and financial performance do not appear to influence budget vote outcomes.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9088

Published: Ehrenberg, Ronald G., RAndy A. Ehrenberg, Christopher L. Smith, and Liang Zhang. "Why Do School District Budget Referenda Fail?" Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 26, 2 (2004): 111-125.

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