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Do Schools in Rural and Nonrural Districts Allocate Resources Differently?: An Analysis of Spending and Staffing Patterns in the West Region States

By Jessie Levin, Karen Manship, Jay Chambers, Jerry Johnson, Charles Blankenship


This report, prepared by researchers at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) for the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West), presents the first detailed comparison of resource allocation between rural and nonrural districts in the West Region (Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah).

AIR researchers found that rural districts in the West Region spent more per student, hired more staff per 100 students, and had higher overhead ratios of district- to school-level resources than did city and suburban districts. It also found that regional characteristics were more strongly related to resource allocation than were other cost factors studied.

The report offers recommendations for policymakers and direction for future research.

A short summary of the report is also available.

Information about the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) system and other REL publications can be found at the National Regional Educational Laboratory Program website.

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Format: PDF
Pages: 64
Publisher: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences