Middle School Operating Levies and Eighth Grade Mathematics and Reading Achievement: Evidence from Minnesota, 1998-2005

Peter Wruck, University of Minnesota
John R. Warren, University of Minnesota

Does the increased funding that an operating levy brings to a school district raise the academic achievement of students in that district? Extensive previous research has considered the connection between school funding and student achievement, but surprisingly little research has focused on the efficacy of this widely-used policy mechanism for funding schools. We regress annual school-level measures of Minnesota 8th graders’ reading and mathematics achievement between 1998 and 2005 on indicators of the level of support that those schools received from publicly-approved operating levies over that period. Our models include measures of district-level funding provided via operating levies, school-level measures of 8th graders’ math and reading achievement, and time-vary covariates indicting schools’ resource allocation and their students’ social, economic, and demographic characteristics. We estimate a series of school and year fixed effects models, with careful attention to the timing of resource availability.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 132: Education Policy and Child Outcomes