# South Dakota state aid to education.

Preface

Few state and local government activities evoke more interest or controversy than does elementary and secondary education. None accounts for more state and local spending. Local districts derive revenues from both state aid and locally-generated tax revenues. How the state's share of that funding is, or should be, distributed, among districts is of special concern. In 1989, a legislative interim committee studied South Dakota's state aid formula. Partially in response to that study, the 1990 Legislature substantially revised the formula. The 1991 Legislature revised it further.

Changes notwithstanding, several South Dakota school district officials are suing the state in an attempt to force further changes. Whether a suit would succeed in forcing even more changes in the state aid formula is uncertain. Similar cases have succeeded in some states, failed in others. This edition of the South Dakota Business Review is designed to help readers understand these issues.

In Part I, Raymond Ring describes the formulas that states commonly use for distributing state aid, including South Dakota's past and present formulas. He also examines how spending varies among South Dakota school districts, which is already of considerable interest and likely to be pivotal in any court challenge.

In the June 1991 issue of the South Dakota Business Review, Diane Hoadley will review other states' Supreme Court decisions. Cases brought during the 1970s had mixed success in overthrowing funding mechanisms then existing. More recent cases seem to have been more successful, but it is not clear how such a case would fare in South Dakota. PART I THE STATE AID TO EDUCATION FORMULA IN SOUTH DAKOTA Raymond Ring I. Introduction

A primary goal of educational policy has been to enhance citizen participation in government affairs and in the economy. This goal is often expressed in terms of equality, where ... "'equality' for educational purposes has almost always meant equality of educational opportunity. '" Garms, Guthrie, and Pierce 1978, 21)

One definition of educational equality holds that "at least a minimum level of school resources suffices to ensure equality of educational opportunity." This could mean simply providing a school, but it is usually taken "to mean more than simple access. The quality of the services available" also matters.

Another interpretation of equal educational opportunity "defines equity as access to education on the same terms." "On the same terms" means that two districts levying the same tax rate are able to provide the same amount of education per student. This definition provides equality for taxpayers as well as students by equalizing taxpayers' ability to provide education; equal tax rates "buy" equal education. This interpretation "also holds that the amount of education to be purchased by a community should be determined by that community." Once equal access is provided, each district's residents decide how much they are willing to "pay" for their own students' education, and impose that tax rate. (Garms, Guthrie, and Pierce 1978, 193-94)

Another definition follows "the premise that learners have widely varying characteristics and abilities, [so] available school services should be highly tailored to each individual student's specific circumstances." This interpretation is the basis for special and compensatory education programs to make up for physical and mental handicaps, social and economic deprivation, and other special needs. It could even mean equal student learning, at least in terms of minimum or basic skills." (Garms, Guthrie, and Pierce 1978, 21-22)

Most states use state aid to local districts to attain educational equality, however they choose to define it. The next section of this paper explains the formulas used by most states, and whether each type equalizes taxpayers' burdens and/or districts' abilities to educate their students. These general, conceptual descriptions do not fully describe any state's provisions, as all states have various refinements dictated by their particular economic or political needs. Rather, they provide a general framework for understanding state aid provisions, including South Dakota's.

Section III presents more detail on the state aid formulas South Dakota has used during the past two decades. II. State aid formulas(1) Example

A simple example is used to illustrate the formulas. Suppose that two school districts, P and R, have $40,000 and $70,000 in taxable property per pupil. (For simplicity, all figures in this example are in amounts per pupil.) With no state aid and both districts levying a property tax of 2 percent of property value(2), they can spend $800 and $1,400 per pupil. District R can outspend District P by 600 per pupil. or 75 percent. Thus, if taxpayers in R and P pay the same tax rate, students are not treated the same.

To spend the same amount per pupil, these districts must treat taxpayers differently. If R's tax rate is 2 percent, P needs a 3.5 percent rate to raise the same amount of revenue. To provide equal spending, P's rate must be 1.75 times R's rate. Flat grants

The most simple form of state aid to local schools is the flat grant, a fixed amount per student, independent of district wealth. Whether a flat grant is equalizing depends on how we define "equalizing." Flat grants do not reduce dollar differences between districts using the same tax effort, but they do narrow percentage differences. Increasing the size of the flat grant reduces the percentage difference, but never eliminates it. Example

Suppose the state grants each district $400 per pupil. With the 2.0 percent tax rate, P and R can now spend $1,200 and $1,800. R still outspends P by $600, the same as without the grant.but R outspends P by 50 percent instead of 60 percent. To spend $1.900 per pupil (state aid plus local tax revenue), P would need a rate of 3.5 percent, still 1.75 times R's rate.

Flat grants enable each district, whatever its tax base, to spend at least the grant amount. If equal educational opportunity only requires that each student receive some minimum level of education, and the flat grant equals or exceeds that minimum, then flat grants provide equal opportunity. However, if equal opportunity requires the same spending per student, then flat grants are not equalizing, because wealthier districts can still outspend poorer districts using the same tax rate.

With flat grants at least equal to the required minimum, each district can provide equal opportunity with no local tax. This might be seen as providing equal treatment: equal (i.e., zero) loCal tax rates provide equal spending (the flat grant amount). Foundation formula

If the minimum amount required for equal opportunity is substantial, a flat grant program can be quite expensive for the state. The foundation formula (FF) allows a state to provide a more substantial minimum while keeping state costs down. With this form of aid, the state ensures a minimum "foundation" amount per pupil, but expects each district to make a "local effort" based on its property values. Thus, state aid is the foundation amount minus local effort. To determine local effort, the state establishes a "standard levy" that is the same for all districts. Local effort equals the standard levy times the local property tax base. Since the foundation amount is the same for all districts and local effort is higher for wealthier districts (those with higher per pupil property values), wealthier districts receive less aid per pupil.

The FF can be shown algebraically as

A[sub.i] = B - t[sub.s] V[sub.i] where A[sub.i] is received by school district i, B is the foundation amount, t[sub.s] is the standard levy, and V[sub.i] is property value in district i. A district's total spending equals its state aid plus its property tax revenue:

E[sub.i] =A[sub.i] t[sub.i] V[sub.i] = B+ (t[sub.i] - t[sub.s]) V[sub.i] where E[sub.i] is district i's spending and t[sub.i], is its tax rate (A flat grant can be shown algebraically by setting t[sub.s] = 0 in these equations).

If districts limit their property taxes to the standard levy, each spends the foundation amount; equal treatment of taxpayers yields equal treatment of students. However, because each district can keep any taxes it chooses to levy above its local effort, wealthier districts again have the advantage: the same rate yields more revenue per pupil. Example

Suppose the state establishes a foundation amount of $900 and standard levy of 1 percent. District P then receives $900 .01 x $40,000 = $500 and District R receives $900 -.01 x $70.000 = $200. The state has raised the minimum guaranteed to each district while reducing state aid.

The FF reduces dollar and percentage differences more than does the flat grant, but does not eliminate them. Suppose Districts P and R impose rates of 2 percent of property values, and receive the above amounts of aid. P spends $500 + .02 x $40,000 = $1.300; R spends $200 + .02 x 70,000 = $1,600. The dollar difference is narrowed (compared to the flat grant) to $300, the percentage difference to about 23 percent.

With taxpayers, as with students. the foundation formula reduces but does not eliminate differences. To provide equal spending per pupil, the poorer district must impose a higher tax burden. If R uses a 2.0 percent rate, then P must use a 2.75 percent rate. P's rate would then be 1.38 times R's rate.

The FF is like a flat grant funded in part by a uniform statewide property tax. The state could provide a flat grant equal to the foundation amount, impose a statewide property tax at the standard levy, and allow local districts to impose additional property taxes. Districts would receive the same total-state aid plus property taxes-as under the FF, and taxpayers would pay the same property taxes. The only difference is administration: whether all property tax is collected locally or part of it goes to the state and is then returned to the district. Guaranteed tax base or percentage equalizing

The FF and the flat grant ensure minimum spending levels for all students, but neither meets the more stringent criterion of enabling all districts with the same tax rate to spend the same amount. With the guaranteed tax base formula (GTBF), any two districts levying the same tax rate will generate the same total revenue-state aid plus property tax. Hence the name: this formula treats each district as if it had the same property tax base per pupil. Algebraically, if all districts have the same GTB, then each district's spending is given by

E[sub.i] = t[sub.i] V[sub.s] where V[sub.s] is the GTB and all other variables are as defined above. State aid is spending minus local revenue:

A[sub.i] = E[sub.i] - t[sub.i] v[sub.i] = t[sub.i] V[sub.s] V[sub.i]). The state makes up the difference between the "guaranteed" tax base and the district's actual tax base, so that a poorer district (i.e., one with lower V[sub.i]) receives more aid than does a richer district using the same tax rate. Since any two districts levying the same tax rate will receive the same total revenue, this form of state aid is also called percentage equalizing. Example

Suppose the state sets a GTB of $100,000 per pupil. With a 2.0 percent tax rate. both districts receive .02 x $ 100,000 = $2.000 per pupil. P receives .02 x $40,000 = 800 in local property tax and .02 x ($100,000 - 40,000) = $1,200 in state aid. R receives .02 x 70.000 = $1.400 locally and .02 x $ 100.000 - 70.000) = $600 in state aid. Any district that raises its rate to 3.0 percent will receive another $1,000. P will receive $400 locally and $600 from the state: R will get $700 locally and $300 from the state. in other words, to spend another $ 1,000, district P "pays" $400 and district R "pays" $700.

The GTBF and FF differ in philosophy and effect. The FF ensures equal minimum spending per pupil to all districts making the minimum effort; the GTBF ensures the same total spending per pupil to all districts levying the same tax rate. With the FF, state aid depends on a district's property value, but not on its spending. With the GTBF, aid depends on both. With the FF, a district that decides to spend more than the foundation amount must pay for the entire increase; another dollar of spending costs local taxpayers a dollar. With the GTBF, the state shares in added spending; another dollar of education costs local people less than a dollar. Because it lowers the "price" of added education, the GTBF should encourage more spending than would a FF giving the district the same total funds.

The state, having limited resources for educational aid, must control its total aid package. With the FF, the state controls aid to individual districts and, consequently, total state aid by varying the foundation amount and/or the standard levy. With the GTB program. the state controls aid by varying the size of the GTB. Cost and price differentials

The discussion thus far ignores variations in the cost of providing education. Every district has certain fixed costs that must be incurred whatever the district size. Spreading these costs over smaller numbers of students raises per pupil costs. Consequently, school district size significantly affects costs per pupil. States often try to account for school size by including adjustment factors in their state aid formulas.

Student characteristics also influence education costs. Some students have special needs because of social or economic deprivation; physical, intellectual, or emotional disabilities; or other conditions. Equal educational opportunity may require that those needs be met. often at great expense. Federal mandates require schools to meet certain needs. To account for these variations, some states use systems that weight students with special needs more heavily than other students, thereby providing higher payments for students with special needs. Other states directly reimburse local schools for certain expenses. I or example, the state might pay all or part of special education or transportation costs, in addition to general state aid. III. South Dakota's school aid formulas Foundation formula

From 1959 through 1986, South Dakota used a type of FF. Instead of ensuring a foundation amount of spending per student, however, it guaranteed a certain amount per "classroom unit" (CRU). Districts with lower enrollments needed fewer students for each CRU. For example, a district with 40 students needed 14.9 elementary students per CRU, a district with 100 students needed 18.2 students per CRU, and a district with 1,000 students needed 21.9 elementary students per CRU. Because smaller districts had fewer students per CRU, but received the same foundation amount per CRU, this formula recognized that smaller districts' classes are likely to be smaller and costs per pupil higher. High school and grade school CRUs were calculated separately, so that it took fewer students to make up a high school CRU. This recognized higher costs of educating high school students. (SDCL 13-13-22 to 13-13-24, repealed in 1986.)

Instead of a single standard levy, South Dakota had one levy for agricultural land and another for nonagricultural property. This differential coincides with the state requirement that each school district's property tax rate be higher for nonagricultural property than for agricultural land. Districts had to impose at least these rates to qualify for FF aid. (SDCL 13-13-20, repealed in 1986.)

The formula also included a form of flat grant, called general support." Each district received $2,000 per CRU, whatever its property wealth. General support was funded first; what remained after all districts received their general support was distributed according to the FF. The latter was called equalization support." (SDCL 13-13-27 and 13-13-18, repealed in 1986.)

Besides general and equalization support, South Dakota school districts received other state payments that were independent of district property wealth, student needs, or other cost-related factors-in some cases, even independent of enrollments. For example, the state constitution requires that certain fines and penalties be returned to the district in which they were levied. As a result, a district with a highway weigh station receives penalties levied on over-weight trucks at that station, independent of property wealth or spending needs. The FF adjusted state aid for half of personal property tax replacement and all of the permanent school fund apportionment, but did not take account of other payments. (SDCL 13-13-32, repealed in 1986.) These other payments contributed nothing to equalization, except by coincidence. In some cases they even widened disparities in district spending ability.

The FF is based on the presumption that equal educational opportunity requires some minimum level of education spending for each student. Even with that presumption, however, equal opportunity is not ensured unless the foundation amount is adequate. Ideally, state officials would determine the level of spending needed for equal opportunity, establish a reasonable local property tax burden, calculate how much a program with that foundation amount and standard levy would cost, and fund it at that level. in practice that is very difficult in a world of limited budgets. Instead of the ideal, the South Dakota Legislature set standard levies for agricultural and nonagricultural property and appropriated whatever it deemed to be available for state aid. State officials then calculated the foundation amount that would "use up" the appropriation. (SDCL 13-13-31, repealed in 1986.)

There is no precise. objective, or definitive measure of what constitutes adequate education spending, but experience indicates that South Dakota's foundation amount fell far below that standard. in 1984-85, the foundation amount was less than half that year's median spending of $49,097 per CRU (South Dakota, Department of Education and Cultural Affairs 1985, 12.) Spending per CRU ranged from $36,254 to $129,086(3), meaning every district chose to spend far more than the foundation amount. Local school boards used the property tax to make up much of the difference. During this time, in the midst of the "tax revolt" and only a few years after Dakota Proposition, local school board members surely knew their constituents' and their own aversions to higher property taxes. Nevertheless, they were also very familiar with their own districts' needs and found it necessary to spend far more than the state-determined foundation amount. This seems to be good evidence that decision-makers closest to the situation found the foundation amount inadequate.

Tax rates also show the inequalities that existed under this system. In 1984-85, the district with the highest spending per CRU had effective property tax rates of approximately .94 percent for agricultural land and 1.60 percent for non-agricultural property, while the district with lowest spending had effective rates of about .60 percent for agricultural land and .93 percent for non-agricultural property(4). The high-spending district, with a tax rate less than twice that of the low-spending district, could spend over 3 1/2 times as much per CRU. Guaranteed tax base (percentage equalizing)

The 1986 South Dakota Legislature replaced the FF with a complicated version of the GTBF or percentage equalizing formula. This version of GTBF can be shown algebraically as

A[sub.i]= E[sub.i]t[sub.qi] V[sub.i], where t[sub.qi] is a function of district spending, E[sub.i]. (As with the FF, there were actually two tax rates corresponding to t[sub.qi], one for agricultural land, another for nonagricultural property. This fact does not significantly affect the issues considered here, so this discussion treats them as one variable.) Thus, t[sub.qi] is the tax rate the district must levy in order to spend E[sub.i]. The state makes up the difference between spending and local revenue (t[sub.qi] V[sub.i]).

With the more conventional GTBF, the state share of each district's spending and thus the total cost to the state) depends on the size of the GTB. With the South Dakota variant, the state share depended on the formula for calculating t[sub.qi]. The formula was adjusted from year to year "to provide a mechanism to distribute the exact amount of money that has been appropriated for state aid to education." (Bertsch 1987, 7)

A look at policy implications shows this to be a variant of the GTB, or percentage equalizing formula. The formula "is designed to assure that districts making the same tax effort can spend at similar levels." (National Conference of State Legislatures [hereafter cited as "NCSL"] 1989, III-11) Two districts can spend the same amount by levying the same tax rate, but the wealthier district (the one with higher property values, V[sub.i]) must provide a larger share from its own sources. Increasing a district's spending increases its tax rate, and thus its local effort (t[sub.qi] V[sub.i]), but by less than the spending increase, so state aid also rises. In other words, the state helps pay for added spending.

The formula for calculating t[sub.qi] allowed smaller districts to generate more revenue per student than would larger districts using the same property tax rate. This ratio also depended quite heavily on the amount spent. "The formula does not use a standard ratio of expected or permissible cost differences due to size." For example, to spend $3,800 per pupil, a large district would need a tax rate approximately 1.5 times the rate needed by a small district. To spend $3,000 per pupil, however, the large district would need tax rates about 2.2 times the small district's rate. (NCSL 1989,III-8 to III-9) There is no clear reason to think that such a small change in spending would cause such large changes in relative costs. Other provisions also changed cost relationships, further complicating the issue. (NCSL 1989, III-6 to III-7) Authors of the NCSL study concluded that "the tax rate adjustment used to provide more resources to smaller districts may be structured somewhat incorrectly, providing too much support for small districts." (NCSL 1989, IV-II )

As they had under the FF, local schools received payments from other funds, such as school and public lands and personal property tax replacement. Unlike the situation with the FF, however, most of these payments were implicitly included in the GTBF. For example, if a district was to receive $800 in these other funds and the GTBF indicated it should receive $3,000, "state aid" was reduced by $800, so that the district received only $3,000 in total state payments. In other words, these other payments were "neutralized" so that districts received what the GFBF indicated they should receive, independent of other payments. The 1986 change also eliminated general support (i.e., the flat grant).

The goal of the GTBF is to provide all districts with the same effective tax base, so that spending and tax rates are independent of property wealth per pupil. Statistical comparisons of school years 1984-85, 1986-87, and 1987-88 indicate that switching from the FF to the GTBF was partially successful in accomplishing this goal. "While the relationship between most expenditure variables and wealth is positive in South Dakota, the relationships are very weak." (NCSL 1989, IV-7) Furthermore, they were substantially weaker under the GTBF than under the FF. (NCSL 1989, IV-8) The negative relationship between wealth and tax rates has been weakening, which is one indicator that the new formula works well. Another indicator of the success of the new formula is the increasingly strong negative relationship between wealth and per pupil formula aid; this suggests that the formula is more sensitive to the variation in wealth than the "old" system, a condition that should improve equity. (NCSL 1989, IV-10)

"The primary philosophical impetus behind the switch to a new formula was an interest in creating a direct relationship between the tax rates of districts and their per pupil spending," so that equal tax rates "buy" equal education. (NCSL 1989, III-4) However, statistical analysis found "no apparent reward, at least in terms of expenditure levels, for higher tax rates, as might be expected under the new formula." In fact, there was a weak negative relationship between tax rates and spending. The authors concluded that the size adjustment (mentioned above) that provides too much aid to smaller districts caused this anomaly. (NCSL 1989, IV-10 to IV-II)

Under the GTBF, no school district could receive less than 90 percent nor more than 105 percent of its previous year's state aid. (Bertsch 1987,7) When a state substantially revises its school aid formula, such "hold harmless" provisions may be desirable to protect districts from sudden large changes in state aid. However, it the new form of state aid does a better job of equalizing district abilities to fund education, then hold harmless provisions can maintain the old, unfair distribution for several years. Absent a hold harmless provision, statistical analysis might have found stronger results from the switch to GTBF. The next section contains more discussion of hold harmless provisions. Current formula

Because of confusion and uncertainty with the GTBF, the 1990 Legislature again substantially revised the state's school aid formula. Session Laws 1990, ch. 117) Algebraically, the new formula can be shown as

A[sub.i] = E[sub.i]- t[sub.s] V[sub.1], where all variables are as defined previously. This formula is a combination of the GTBF and FF. Each district makes a local effort equal to the standard levy times local property value, where the standard levy is the same for all districts. As it did under the GTBF, the state provides the difference between district spending and local effort. As under the FF, local effort depends on local property value but is independent of local spending and district size. Under the GTBF, by contrast, local effort depended on spending and enrollment, as well as local property value.

This formula, like its predecessors, actually has two tax rates corresponding to t[sub.s], one for agricultural land, another for nonagricultural property. As above, this discussion treats them as one variable, because existence of two variables does not significantly affect policy implications. State officials can adjust the value of t[sub.s] so that the total amount of state aid equals the amount appropriated.

This formula also contains a hold harmless provision: "the amount of aid that a school district receives may not be less than ninety percent of the amount of aid received ... during the preceding year." (SDCL 13-13-37.1) Because of that provision, approximately 137 school districts received more aid than they would have received in its absence. (Author's estimate, from data provided by Legislative Research Council staff.) Critics of hold harmless argue that it has prevented a fair distribution of state aid among schools. Because those schools protected by the provision get more than their fair share, other schools don't get as much as they deserve, they say. (Brokaw, January 1, 1991, 1C) The 1991 Legislature passed, and Governor Mickelson signed, a bill phasing out the hold harmless over three years.

Because the current school year is the first under the newest state aid formula, it is not possible to know how it affects taxes and spending. However, it is possible to examine some of the incentives built into it.

Perhaps the most striking characteristic of the newest state aid formula is that a district can change its spending without changing its tax rate. Since local effort depends only on local property wealth and state aid is the difference between spending and local effort, a spending increase is funded dollar-for-dollar by state aid. This is in stark contrast to the FF, under which spending above local effort had to be paid entirely from local sources, and the GTBF, under which spending increases were partly funded with local revenue.

Given a state aid appropriation (i.e., with aggregate aid to all districts fixed), higher aid to one district must be offset by lower aid to others. Under the current provision, increasing one district's aid necessitates a slightly higher standard levy (t,), reducing all districts' receipts by an offsetting aggregate amount. The "cost" of one district's increase is spread to all districts in proportion to their property wealth. Any district that increases its spending sees its own state aid rise by the amount of its spending increase, but its local effort rises by only a small fraction (its property wealth relative to property wealth statewide) of its spending increase.

If a district "holds the line" on spending while all others spend more, its local effort rises substantially as it bears its share of all other districts' increases. If it spends more right along with the others, it still bears its share of other districts' spending, plus its relatively small share of its own increase. Because it bears about the same burden whether it spends much or little, it has little incentive to hold down spending. Districts might even feel compelled to increase spending by large amounts in order to stay ahead of other districts. IV. Summary

State aid to education formulas are designed to ensure equal educational opportunity. One definition of equal opportunity holds that every student deserves an adequate minimum level of education. Foundation formulas (FF) ensure that local districts can spend at least some minimum amount per student, with any added spending financed from local sources, primarily the property tax.

Another definition of equal opportunity holds that any two districts levying the same local property tax rate should be able to spend the same amount per student. Guaranteed tax base formulas (GTBF) ensure school districts the equivalent of the same property tax base per pupil, giving all districts the same revenue-raising capacity. Whatever a district's property wealth, it can raise the same amount of revenue (state aid plus property tax) as can any other district using the same tax rate.

South Dakota has used both forms of school aid, a FF from 1959 to 1986 and a GTBF from 1986 to 1990. Statistical evidence indicates that switching to the GTBF made each district's revenue-raising potential depend much less heavily on its own wealth. A new formula, which took effect with the current school year, is a combination of FF and GTBF. It is too early to know how it will change school funding, but it may encourage much higher spending. END NOTES

1. Many sources on education funding describe state school aid formulas. This description draws most directly from Garms, Guthrie. and Pierce 1979, Chapter 8. Burrup, Brimley, and Garfield 1988, Chapters 8 and 10 provide somewhat different descriptions.

2. In the usual method of stating property tax rates, this would be 20 mills. A mill is one-tenth of one percent or $1 in taxes per $1000 property value. in the terminology adopted by South Dakota's 1989 Legislature, it is "20 dollars per thousand dollars of taxable valuation." We express rates in percents, as this is the most common way to express tax rates-and the easiest to understand.

3. One district with even lower average spending per CRU is excluded from consideration here because it has no employees. This district is organized to raise revenue to pay tuition for students who live within its boundaries but attend school elsewhere. It is so atypical as to be inapplicable to the present analysis.

4. Effective properly tax rates are property tax as a percent of market value, estimated by the author from mill levy, home county taxable percent, and home county assessment to sales ratio data in South Dakota. Department of Education and Cultural Affairs, 1985, Appendix School Districts Profile). SOURCES Bertsch, Dale. 1987. South Dakota's aid to education formula. South Dakota

Business Review, Vol. XLVI, No. 1 September), pp. 1, 4-7. Brokaw, Chip. 1990. "Survey shows support for financial aid changes." Sioux

Falls Argus Leader, January 1, p. 1C. Burrup, Percy E., Vern Brimley. Jr., and Rulon R. Garfield. 1988. Financing

Education in a Climate of Change, 4th ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Garms, Walter I., James W. Guthrie, and Lawrence C. Pierce. 1978. School

Finance: The Economics and Politics of Public Education. Englewood Cliffs.

N.J.: Prentice-Hall. National Conference of State Legislatures [NCSL] and Augenblick. Vande

Water & Associates. 1989. An evaluation of South Dakota's school finance

system with particular emphasis on the level of equity it achieves and the

impact of school district enrollment on spending: A report to the South Dakota

Legislative Research Council. Mimeographed. South Dakota, Department of Education and Cultural Affairs. Division of

Education. 1985. Education Statistics Digest, 1984-85. Pierre, S.D.:

Department of Education and Cultural Affairs. About the Author: Raymond Ring, Ph.D., is associate professor of Economics at the School of Business, University of South Dakota in Vermillion. TABULAR DATA OMITTED

Few state and local government activities evoke more interest or controversy than does elementary and secondary education. None accounts for more state and local spending. Local districts derive revenues from both state aid and locally-generated tax revenues. How the state's share of that funding is, or should be, distributed, among districts is of special concern. In 1989, a legislative interim committee studied South Dakota's state aid formula. Partially in response to that study, the 1990 Legislature substantially revised the formula. The 1991 Legislature revised it further.

Changes notwithstanding, several South Dakota school district officials are suing the state in an attempt to force further changes. Whether a suit would succeed in forcing even more changes in the state aid formula is uncertain. Similar cases have succeeded in some states, failed in others. This edition of the South Dakota Business Review is designed to help readers understand these issues.

In Part I, Raymond Ring describes the formulas that states commonly use for distributing state aid, including South Dakota's past and present formulas. He also examines how spending varies among South Dakota school districts, which is already of considerable interest and likely to be pivotal in any court challenge.

In the June 1991 issue of the South Dakota Business Review, Diane Hoadley will review other states' Supreme Court decisions. Cases brought during the 1970s had mixed success in overthrowing funding mechanisms then existing. More recent cases seem to have been more successful, but it is not clear how such a case would fare in South Dakota. PART I THE STATE AID TO EDUCATION FORMULA IN SOUTH DAKOTA Raymond Ring I. Introduction

A primary goal of educational policy has been to enhance citizen participation in government affairs and in the economy. This goal is often expressed in terms of equality, where ... "'equality' for educational purposes has almost always meant equality of educational opportunity. '" Garms, Guthrie, and Pierce 1978, 21)

One definition of educational equality holds that "at least a minimum level of school resources suffices to ensure equality of educational opportunity." This could mean simply providing a school, but it is usually taken "to mean more than simple access. The quality of the services available" also matters.

Another interpretation of equal educational opportunity "defines equity as access to education on the same terms." "On the same terms" means that two districts levying the same tax rate are able to provide the same amount of education per student. This definition provides equality for taxpayers as well as students by equalizing taxpayers' ability to provide education; equal tax rates "buy" equal education. This interpretation "also holds that the amount of education to be purchased by a community should be determined by that community." Once equal access is provided, each district's residents decide how much they are willing to "pay" for their own students' education, and impose that tax rate. (Garms, Guthrie, and Pierce 1978, 193-94)

Another definition follows "the premise that learners have widely varying characteristics and abilities, [so] available school services should be highly tailored to each individual student's specific circumstances." This interpretation is the basis for special and compensatory education programs to make up for physical and mental handicaps, social and economic deprivation, and other special needs. It could even mean equal student learning, at least in terms of minimum or basic skills." (Garms, Guthrie, and Pierce 1978, 21-22)

Most states use state aid to local districts to attain educational equality, however they choose to define it. The next section of this paper explains the formulas used by most states, and whether each type equalizes taxpayers' burdens and/or districts' abilities to educate their students. These general, conceptual descriptions do not fully describe any state's provisions, as all states have various refinements dictated by their particular economic or political needs. Rather, they provide a general framework for understanding state aid provisions, including South Dakota's.

Section III presents more detail on the state aid formulas South Dakota has used during the past two decades. II. State aid formulas(1) Example

A simple example is used to illustrate the formulas. Suppose that two school districts, P and R, have $40,000 and $70,000 in taxable property per pupil. (For simplicity, all figures in this example are in amounts per pupil.) With no state aid and both districts levying a property tax of 2 percent of property value(2), they can spend $800 and $1,400 per pupil. District R can outspend District P by 600 per pupil. or 75 percent. Thus, if taxpayers in R and P pay the same tax rate, students are not treated the same.

To spend the same amount per pupil, these districts must treat taxpayers differently. If R's tax rate is 2 percent, P needs a 3.5 percent rate to raise the same amount of revenue. To provide equal spending, P's rate must be 1.75 times R's rate. Flat grants

The most simple form of state aid to local schools is the flat grant, a fixed amount per student, independent of district wealth. Whether a flat grant is equalizing depends on how we define "equalizing." Flat grants do not reduce dollar differences between districts using the same tax effort, but they do narrow percentage differences. Increasing the size of the flat grant reduces the percentage difference, but never eliminates it. Example

Suppose the state grants each district $400 per pupil. With the 2.0 percent tax rate, P and R can now spend $1,200 and $1,800. R still outspends P by $600, the same as without the grant.but R outspends P by 50 percent instead of 60 percent. To spend $1.900 per pupil (state aid plus local tax revenue), P would need a rate of 3.5 percent, still 1.75 times R's rate.

Flat grants enable each district, whatever its tax base, to spend at least the grant amount. If equal educational opportunity only requires that each student receive some minimum level of education, and the flat grant equals or exceeds that minimum, then flat grants provide equal opportunity. However, if equal opportunity requires the same spending per student, then flat grants are not equalizing, because wealthier districts can still outspend poorer districts using the same tax rate.

With flat grants at least equal to the required minimum, each district can provide equal opportunity with no local tax. This might be seen as providing equal treatment: equal (i.e., zero) loCal tax rates provide equal spending (the flat grant amount). Foundation formula

If the minimum amount required for equal opportunity is substantial, a flat grant program can be quite expensive for the state. The foundation formula (FF) allows a state to provide a more substantial minimum while keeping state costs down. With this form of aid, the state ensures a minimum "foundation" amount per pupil, but expects each district to make a "local effort" based on its property values. Thus, state aid is the foundation amount minus local effort. To determine local effort, the state establishes a "standard levy" that is the same for all districts. Local effort equals the standard levy times the local property tax base. Since the foundation amount is the same for all districts and local effort is higher for wealthier districts (those with higher per pupil property values), wealthier districts receive less aid per pupil.

The FF can be shown algebraically as

A[sub.i] = B - t[sub.s] V[sub.i] where A[sub.i] is received by school district i, B is the foundation amount, t[sub.s] is the standard levy, and V[sub.i] is property value in district i. A district's total spending equals its state aid plus its property tax revenue:

E[sub.i] =A[sub.i] t[sub.i] V[sub.i] = B+ (t[sub.i] - t[sub.s]) V[sub.i] where E[sub.i] is district i's spending and t[sub.i], is its tax rate (A flat grant can be shown algebraically by setting t[sub.s] = 0 in these equations).

If districts limit their property taxes to the standard levy, each spends the foundation amount; equal treatment of taxpayers yields equal treatment of students. However, because each district can keep any taxes it chooses to levy above its local effort, wealthier districts again have the advantage: the same rate yields more revenue per pupil. Example

Suppose the state establishes a foundation amount of $900 and standard levy of 1 percent. District P then receives $900 .01 x $40,000 = $500 and District R receives $900 -.01 x $70.000 = $200. The state has raised the minimum guaranteed to each district while reducing state aid.

The FF reduces dollar and percentage differences more than does the flat grant, but does not eliminate them. Suppose Districts P and R impose rates of 2 percent of property values, and receive the above amounts of aid. P spends $500 + .02 x $40,000 = $1.300; R spends $200 + .02 x 70,000 = $1,600. The dollar difference is narrowed (compared to the flat grant) to $300, the percentage difference to about 23 percent.

With taxpayers, as with students. the foundation formula reduces but does not eliminate differences. To provide equal spending per pupil, the poorer district must impose a higher tax burden. If R uses a 2.0 percent rate, then P must use a 2.75 percent rate. P's rate would then be 1.38 times R's rate.

The FF is like a flat grant funded in part by a uniform statewide property tax. The state could provide a flat grant equal to the foundation amount, impose a statewide property tax at the standard levy, and allow local districts to impose additional property taxes. Districts would receive the same total-state aid plus property taxes-as under the FF, and taxpayers would pay the same property taxes. The only difference is administration: whether all property tax is collected locally or part of it goes to the state and is then returned to the district. Guaranteed tax base or percentage equalizing

The FF and the flat grant ensure minimum spending levels for all students, but neither meets the more stringent criterion of enabling all districts with the same tax rate to spend the same amount. With the guaranteed tax base formula (GTBF), any two districts levying the same tax rate will generate the same total revenue-state aid plus property tax. Hence the name: this formula treats each district as if it had the same property tax base per pupil. Algebraically, if all districts have the same GTB, then each district's spending is given by

E[sub.i] = t[sub.i] V[sub.s] where V[sub.s] is the GTB and all other variables are as defined above. State aid is spending minus local revenue:

A[sub.i] = E[sub.i] - t[sub.i] v[sub.i] = t[sub.i] V[sub.s] V[sub.i]). The state makes up the difference between the "guaranteed" tax base and the district's actual tax base, so that a poorer district (i.e., one with lower V[sub.i]) receives more aid than does a richer district using the same tax rate. Since any two districts levying the same tax rate will receive the same total revenue, this form of state aid is also called percentage equalizing. Example

Suppose the state sets a GTB of $100,000 per pupil. With a 2.0 percent tax rate. both districts receive .02 x $ 100,000 = $2.000 per pupil. P receives .02 x $40,000 = 800 in local property tax and .02 x ($100,000 - 40,000) = $1,200 in state aid. R receives .02 x 70.000 = $1.400 locally and .02 x $ 100.000 - 70.000) = $600 in state aid. Any district that raises its rate to 3.0 percent will receive another $1,000. P will receive $400 locally and $600 from the state: R will get $700 locally and $300 from the state. in other words, to spend another $ 1,000, district P "pays" $400 and district R "pays" $700.

The GTBF and FF differ in philosophy and effect. The FF ensures equal minimum spending per pupil to all districts making the minimum effort; the GTBF ensures the same total spending per pupil to all districts levying the same tax rate. With the FF, state aid depends on a district's property value, but not on its spending. With the GTBF, aid depends on both. With the FF, a district that decides to spend more than the foundation amount must pay for the entire increase; another dollar of spending costs local taxpayers a dollar. With the GTBF, the state shares in added spending; another dollar of education costs local people less than a dollar. Because it lowers the "price" of added education, the GTBF should encourage more spending than would a FF giving the district the same total funds.

The state, having limited resources for educational aid, must control its total aid package. With the FF, the state controls aid to individual districts and, consequently, total state aid by varying the foundation amount and/or the standard levy. With the GTB program. the state controls aid by varying the size of the GTB. Cost and price differentials

The discussion thus far ignores variations in the cost of providing education. Every district has certain fixed costs that must be incurred whatever the district size. Spreading these costs over smaller numbers of students raises per pupil costs. Consequently, school district size significantly affects costs per pupil. States often try to account for school size by including adjustment factors in their state aid formulas.

Student characteristics also influence education costs. Some students have special needs because of social or economic deprivation; physical, intellectual, or emotional disabilities; or other conditions. Equal educational opportunity may require that those needs be met. often at great expense. Federal mandates require schools to meet certain needs. To account for these variations, some states use systems that weight students with special needs more heavily than other students, thereby providing higher payments for students with special needs. Other states directly reimburse local schools for certain expenses. I or example, the state might pay all or part of special education or transportation costs, in addition to general state aid. III. South Dakota's school aid formulas Foundation formula

From 1959 through 1986, South Dakota used a type of FF. Instead of ensuring a foundation amount of spending per student, however, it guaranteed a certain amount per "classroom unit" (CRU). Districts with lower enrollments needed fewer students for each CRU. For example, a district with 40 students needed 14.9 elementary students per CRU, a district with 100 students needed 18.2 students per CRU, and a district with 1,000 students needed 21.9 elementary students per CRU. Because smaller districts had fewer students per CRU, but received the same foundation amount per CRU, this formula recognized that smaller districts' classes are likely to be smaller and costs per pupil higher. High school and grade school CRUs were calculated separately, so that it took fewer students to make up a high school CRU. This recognized higher costs of educating high school students. (SDCL 13-13-22 to 13-13-24, repealed in 1986.)

Instead of a single standard levy, South Dakota had one levy for agricultural land and another for nonagricultural property. This differential coincides with the state requirement that each school district's property tax rate be higher for nonagricultural property than for agricultural land. Districts had to impose at least these rates to qualify for FF aid. (SDCL 13-13-20, repealed in 1986.)

The formula also included a form of flat grant, called general support." Each district received $2,000 per CRU, whatever its property wealth. General support was funded first; what remained after all districts received their general support was distributed according to the FF. The latter was called equalization support." (SDCL 13-13-27 and 13-13-18, repealed in 1986.)

Besides general and equalization support, South Dakota school districts received other state payments that were independent of district property wealth, student needs, or other cost-related factors-in some cases, even independent of enrollments. For example, the state constitution requires that certain fines and penalties be returned to the district in which they were levied. As a result, a district with a highway weigh station receives penalties levied on over-weight trucks at that station, independent of property wealth or spending needs. The FF adjusted state aid for half of personal property tax replacement and all of the permanent school fund apportionment, but did not take account of other payments. (SDCL 13-13-32, repealed in 1986.) These other payments contributed nothing to equalization, except by coincidence. In some cases they even widened disparities in district spending ability.

The FF is based on the presumption that equal educational opportunity requires some minimum level of education spending for each student. Even with that presumption, however, equal opportunity is not ensured unless the foundation amount is adequate. Ideally, state officials would determine the level of spending needed for equal opportunity, establish a reasonable local property tax burden, calculate how much a program with that foundation amount and standard levy would cost, and fund it at that level. in practice that is very difficult in a world of limited budgets. Instead of the ideal, the South Dakota Legislature set standard levies for agricultural and nonagricultural property and appropriated whatever it deemed to be available for state aid. State officials then calculated the foundation amount that would "use up" the appropriation. (SDCL 13-13-31, repealed in 1986.)

There is no precise. objective, or definitive measure of what constitutes adequate education spending, but experience indicates that South Dakota's foundation amount fell far below that standard. in 1984-85, the foundation amount was less than half that year's median spending of $49,097 per CRU (South Dakota, Department of Education and Cultural Affairs 1985, 12.) Spending per CRU ranged from $36,254 to $129,086(3), meaning every district chose to spend far more than the foundation amount. Local school boards used the property tax to make up much of the difference. During this time, in the midst of the "tax revolt" and only a few years after Dakota Proposition, local school board members surely knew their constituents' and their own aversions to higher property taxes. Nevertheless, they were also very familiar with their own districts' needs and found it necessary to spend far more than the state-determined foundation amount. This seems to be good evidence that decision-makers closest to the situation found the foundation amount inadequate.

Tax rates also show the inequalities that existed under this system. In 1984-85, the district with the highest spending per CRU had effective property tax rates of approximately .94 percent for agricultural land and 1.60 percent for non-agricultural property, while the district with lowest spending had effective rates of about .60 percent for agricultural land and .93 percent for non-agricultural property(4). The high-spending district, with a tax rate less than twice that of the low-spending district, could spend over 3 1/2 times as much per CRU. Guaranteed tax base (percentage equalizing)

The 1986 South Dakota Legislature replaced the FF with a complicated version of the GTBF or percentage equalizing formula. This version of GTBF can be shown algebraically as

A[sub.i]= E[sub.i]t[sub.qi] V[sub.i], where t[sub.qi] is a function of district spending, E[sub.i]. (As with the FF, there were actually two tax rates corresponding to t[sub.qi], one for agricultural land, another for nonagricultural property. This fact does not significantly affect the issues considered here, so this discussion treats them as one variable.) Thus, t[sub.qi] is the tax rate the district must levy in order to spend E[sub.i]. The state makes up the difference between spending and local revenue (t[sub.qi] V[sub.i]).

With the more conventional GTBF, the state share of each district's spending and thus the total cost to the state) depends on the size of the GTB. With the South Dakota variant, the state share depended on the formula for calculating t[sub.qi]. The formula was adjusted from year to year "to provide a mechanism to distribute the exact amount of money that has been appropriated for state aid to education." (Bertsch 1987, 7)

A look at policy implications shows this to be a variant of the GTB, or percentage equalizing formula. The formula "is designed to assure that districts making the same tax effort can spend at similar levels." (National Conference of State Legislatures [hereafter cited as "NCSL"] 1989, III-11) Two districts can spend the same amount by levying the same tax rate, but the wealthier district (the one with higher property values, V[sub.i]) must provide a larger share from its own sources. Increasing a district's spending increases its tax rate, and thus its local effort (t[sub.qi] V[sub.i]), but by less than the spending increase, so state aid also rises. In other words, the state helps pay for added spending.

The formula for calculating t[sub.qi] allowed smaller districts to generate more revenue per student than would larger districts using the same property tax rate. This ratio also depended quite heavily on the amount spent. "The formula does not use a standard ratio of expected or permissible cost differences due to size." For example, to spend $3,800 per pupil, a large district would need a tax rate approximately 1.5 times the rate needed by a small district. To spend $3,000 per pupil, however, the large district would need tax rates about 2.2 times the small district's rate. (NCSL 1989,III-8 to III-9) There is no clear reason to think that such a small change in spending would cause such large changes in relative costs. Other provisions also changed cost relationships, further complicating the issue. (NCSL 1989, III-6 to III-7) Authors of the NCSL study concluded that "the tax rate adjustment used to provide more resources to smaller districts may be structured somewhat incorrectly, providing too much support for small districts." (NCSL 1989, IV-II )

As they had under the FF, local schools received payments from other funds, such as school and public lands and personal property tax replacement. Unlike the situation with the FF, however, most of these payments were implicitly included in the GTBF. For example, if a district was to receive $800 in these other funds and the GTBF indicated it should receive $3,000, "state aid" was reduced by $800, so that the district received only $3,000 in total state payments. In other words, these other payments were "neutralized" so that districts received what the GFBF indicated they should receive, independent of other payments. The 1986 change also eliminated general support (i.e., the flat grant).

The goal of the GTBF is to provide all districts with the same effective tax base, so that spending and tax rates are independent of property wealth per pupil. Statistical comparisons of school years 1984-85, 1986-87, and 1987-88 indicate that switching from the FF to the GTBF was partially successful in accomplishing this goal. "While the relationship between most expenditure variables and wealth is positive in South Dakota, the relationships are very weak." (NCSL 1989, IV-7) Furthermore, they were substantially weaker under the GTBF than under the FF. (NCSL 1989, IV-8) The negative relationship between wealth and tax rates has been weakening, which is one indicator that the new formula works well. Another indicator of the success of the new formula is the increasingly strong negative relationship between wealth and per pupil formula aid; this suggests that the formula is more sensitive to the variation in wealth than the "old" system, a condition that should improve equity. (NCSL 1989, IV-10)

"The primary philosophical impetus behind the switch to a new formula was an interest in creating a direct relationship between the tax rates of districts and their per pupil spending," so that equal tax rates "buy" equal education. (NCSL 1989, III-4) However, statistical analysis found "no apparent reward, at least in terms of expenditure levels, for higher tax rates, as might be expected under the new formula." In fact, there was a weak negative relationship between tax rates and spending. The authors concluded that the size adjustment (mentioned above) that provides too much aid to smaller districts caused this anomaly. (NCSL 1989, IV-10 to IV-II)

Under the GTBF, no school district could receive less than 90 percent nor more than 105 percent of its previous year's state aid. (Bertsch 1987,7) When a state substantially revises its school aid formula, such "hold harmless" provisions may be desirable to protect districts from sudden large changes in state aid. However, it the new form of state aid does a better job of equalizing district abilities to fund education, then hold harmless provisions can maintain the old, unfair distribution for several years. Absent a hold harmless provision, statistical analysis might have found stronger results from the switch to GTBF. The next section contains more discussion of hold harmless provisions. Current formula

Because of confusion and uncertainty with the GTBF, the 1990 Legislature again substantially revised the state's school aid formula. Session Laws 1990, ch. 117) Algebraically, the new formula can be shown as

A[sub.i] = E[sub.i]- t[sub.s] V[sub.1], where all variables are as defined previously. This formula is a combination of the GTBF and FF. Each district makes a local effort equal to the standard levy times local property value, where the standard levy is the same for all districts. As it did under the GTBF, the state provides the difference between district spending and local effort. As under the FF, local effort depends on local property value but is independent of local spending and district size. Under the GTBF, by contrast, local effort depended on spending and enrollment, as well as local property value.

This formula, like its predecessors, actually has two tax rates corresponding to t[sub.s], one for agricultural land, another for nonagricultural property. As above, this discussion treats them as one variable, because existence of two variables does not significantly affect policy implications. State officials can adjust the value of t[sub.s] so that the total amount of state aid equals the amount appropriated.

This formula also contains a hold harmless provision: "the amount of aid that a school district receives may not be less than ninety percent of the amount of aid received ... during the preceding year." (SDCL 13-13-37.1) Because of that provision, approximately 137 school districts received more aid than they would have received in its absence. (Author's estimate, from data provided by Legislative Research Council staff.) Critics of hold harmless argue that it has prevented a fair distribution of state aid among schools. Because those schools protected by the provision get more than their fair share, other schools don't get as much as they deserve, they say. (Brokaw, January 1, 1991, 1C) The 1991 Legislature passed, and Governor Mickelson signed, a bill phasing out the hold harmless over three years.

Because the current school year is the first under the newest state aid formula, it is not possible to know how it affects taxes and spending. However, it is possible to examine some of the incentives built into it.

Perhaps the most striking characteristic of the newest state aid formula is that a district can change its spending without changing its tax rate. Since local effort depends only on local property wealth and state aid is the difference between spending and local effort, a spending increase is funded dollar-for-dollar by state aid. This is in stark contrast to the FF, under which spending above local effort had to be paid entirely from local sources, and the GTBF, under which spending increases were partly funded with local revenue.

Given a state aid appropriation (i.e., with aggregate aid to all districts fixed), higher aid to one district must be offset by lower aid to others. Under the current provision, increasing one district's aid necessitates a slightly higher standard levy (t,), reducing all districts' receipts by an offsetting aggregate amount. The "cost" of one district's increase is spread to all districts in proportion to their property wealth. Any district that increases its spending sees its own state aid rise by the amount of its spending increase, but its local effort rises by only a small fraction (its property wealth relative to property wealth statewide) of its spending increase.

If a district "holds the line" on spending while all others spend more, its local effort rises substantially as it bears its share of all other districts' increases. If it spends more right along with the others, it still bears its share of other districts' spending, plus its relatively small share of its own increase. Because it bears about the same burden whether it spends much or little, it has little incentive to hold down spending. Districts might even feel compelled to increase spending by large amounts in order to stay ahead of other districts. IV. Summary

State aid to education formulas are designed to ensure equal educational opportunity. One definition of equal opportunity holds that every student deserves an adequate minimum level of education. Foundation formulas (FF) ensure that local districts can spend at least some minimum amount per student, with any added spending financed from local sources, primarily the property tax.

Another definition of equal opportunity holds that any two districts levying the same local property tax rate should be able to spend the same amount per student. Guaranteed tax base formulas (GTBF) ensure school districts the equivalent of the same property tax base per pupil, giving all districts the same revenue-raising capacity. Whatever a district's property wealth, it can raise the same amount of revenue (state aid plus property tax) as can any other district using the same tax rate.

South Dakota has used both forms of school aid, a FF from 1959 to 1986 and a GTBF from 1986 to 1990. Statistical evidence indicates that switching to the GTBF made each district's revenue-raising potential depend much less heavily on its own wealth. A new formula, which took effect with the current school year, is a combination of FF and GTBF. It is too early to know how it will change school funding, but it may encourage much higher spending. END NOTES

1. Many sources on education funding describe state school aid formulas. This description draws most directly from Garms, Guthrie. and Pierce 1979, Chapter 8. Burrup, Brimley, and Garfield 1988, Chapters 8 and 10 provide somewhat different descriptions.

2. In the usual method of stating property tax rates, this would be 20 mills. A mill is one-tenth of one percent or $1 in taxes per $1000 property value. in the terminology adopted by South Dakota's 1989 Legislature, it is "20 dollars per thousand dollars of taxable valuation." We express rates in percents, as this is the most common way to express tax rates-and the easiest to understand.

3. One district with even lower average spending per CRU is excluded from consideration here because it has no employees. This district is organized to raise revenue to pay tuition for students who live within its boundaries but attend school elsewhere. It is so atypical as to be inapplicable to the present analysis.

4. Effective properly tax rates are property tax as a percent of market value, estimated by the author from mill levy, home county taxable percent, and home county assessment to sales ratio data in South Dakota. Department of Education and Cultural Affairs, 1985, Appendix School Districts Profile). SOURCES Bertsch, Dale. 1987. South Dakota's aid to education formula. South Dakota

Business Review, Vol. XLVI, No. 1 September), pp. 1, 4-7. Brokaw, Chip. 1990. "Survey shows support for financial aid changes." Sioux

Falls Argus Leader, January 1, p. 1C. Burrup, Percy E., Vern Brimley. Jr., and Rulon R. Garfield. 1988. Financing

Education in a Climate of Change, 4th ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Garms, Walter I., James W. Guthrie, and Lawrence C. Pierce. 1978. School

Finance: The Economics and Politics of Public Education. Englewood Cliffs.

N.J.: Prentice-Hall. National Conference of State Legislatures [NCSL] and Augenblick. Vande

Water & Associates. 1989. An evaluation of South Dakota's school finance

system with particular emphasis on the level of equity it achieves and the

impact of school district enrollment on spending: A report to the South Dakota

Legislative Research Council. Mimeographed. South Dakota, Department of Education and Cultural Affairs. Division of

Education. 1985. Education Statistics Digest, 1984-85. Pierre, S.D.:

Department of Education and Cultural Affairs. About the Author: Raymond Ring, Ph.D., is associate professor of Economics at the School of Business, University of South Dakota in Vermillion. TABULAR DATA OMITTED

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Publication: | South Dakota Business Review |

Date: | Mar 1, 1991 |

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