Revenue Stability among Education Service Districts during the Great Recession: A Comparison of Oregon and Washington Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/h415pc319

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  • Public education in the United States is fundamental to future economic performance. The attention paid to public education institutions generally revolves around school districts, state education agencies, and the role of the federal government. However, an often overlooked cog is the educational service agency. Known in Oregon and Washington as education service districts, these intermediate bodies between state education agencies and local school districts provide crucial services to school districts and receive revenues from a variety of sources. Oregon’s districts have the rare ability to generate revenue through the direct taxation of property. This study seeks to determine if this attribute allowed Oregon’s districts to experience greater revenue stability in the wake of the Great Recession, using Washington’s districts as a comparison group. Using data from academic years 2005-06 through 2010-11, two hypotheses are tested: (1) whether Oregon’s education service districts have more diversified revenue structures due to their taxing ability and (2) whether this taxing ability leads to greater revenue stability. Ordinary Least Squares regression results provide no statistical evidence in support of either of these hypotheses, but evidence of diversification’s effect on stability is found and is consistent with the literature. This paper contributes to the literature primarily in that it is the first to study education service district budgets across these states, using this policy as the variable of interest.
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