Skip to main
University-wide Navigation

This paper leverages new school-level finance data to estimate racial differences in exposure to low-income classmates and access to school funding across schools and school districts in U.S. metro areas. We begin by documenting within metropolitan area differences in average percentages of low-income students and in average per pupil spending for black, Hispanic, and white students. We consider the extent to which the disparities are due to differences across districts and to differences across schools within districts. We also assess how these disparities vary across metropolitan areas, and particularly across regions. Finally, we examine the evolution of between district disparities between 2005-06 to 2018-19. This paper adds to the literature by assessing the extent to which previously documented racial disparities persist in recent years and determining whether within-district distributions of students and spending moderate or exacerbate spending disparities for the average black and Hispanic students compared to the average white student.