Discussion Paper

How Did Education Financing in New Jersey’s Abbott Districts Fare during the Great Recession?


Abstract: In the state of New Jersey, any child between the ages of five and eighteen has the constitutional right to a thorough and efficient education. The state also has one of the country?s most rigid policies regarding a balanced budget. When state and local revenues took a big hit in the most recent recession, officials had to make tough decisions about education spending. In this post, we analyze education financing and spending in two groups of high-poverty districts during the Great Recession and the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) federal stimulus period?the Abbott and Bacon districts. Analysis in our recent New York Fed staff report shows that the Abbott districts exhibited the sharpest declines?relative to trend?in both total funding and total spending per pupil during the post-recession era. Additionally, the Abbott districts were the only group of districts in New Jersey to present statistically significant negative shifts in instructional spending, even with the federal stimulus.

Keywords: Educational Finance; Abbott; Recession; ARRA;

JEL Classification: Q1;R1;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Liberty Street Economics

Publication Date: 2013-02-06

Number: 20130206