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* This consists of $6.0 million in incentive aid payments to districts spending above State average and $13 million in no-loss aid to guarantee school districts the level of 1971-72 aid payments.
** This consists of all local revenues raised in support of enumerated programs that are raised outside of the State foundation program. A total of $302,966 was requried to be raised locally for support of the basic foundation program in 1974-75.
Data Sources for Virginia Equalization Analysis
Annual report 1974-75
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Total cost of operation regular day school (less food services): Table 32
ADM to determine cost of operation per pupil: Table 37
P.L. 874: from 25th Annual Report of Commissioner of Education Administration of P.L. 874 and P.L. 815 June 30, 1975 Table 1.
Outside the foundation aid program, Washington has six major "categorical" aid programs which provide support for children requiring special education, vocational-technical education, compensatory education, services in state institutions, transportation, and school food services. Aid for special education supports 95 percent of allowed and approved "excess" costs. Aid for transportation provides 80 percent of approved costs. All other categorical programs supply 100 percent support.
Sources of Equalization
The structure of Washington's aid system is not very equalizing. The foundation aid system only provides 49.4 percent of general fund revenues. And while the categorical grant programs require little or no local match, they provide only 20 percent of all current operations aid.
Sources of Disequalization
Washington's school finance system is disequalized
primarily by its reliance on discretionary and unequalized special levy taxes. During 1975-76, special levy taxes supplied over $207 million out of $1.1 billion in general fund revenues for education. Other sources of disequalization are the state's special levy relief program which distributes funds regardless of local wealth, and miscellaneous unequalized local revenues.
*The $207 million was after a roll back from $242 million, the difference being State appropriations for special levy relief.
Comparative Equalization Standards
Washington would not qualify as a State with an equalized school finance system either under the fiscal neutrality standard or the expenditure disparity standard.
Presently only 71.2 percent of all state-local revenues for current operating purposes are equalized. It is expected, moreover, that there will be even less equalization in coming years if the State's local districts must continue to rely on unequalized local property taxes for basic school support.
When expenditure disparities are considered, there is a 81.1 percent difference between the 5th and 95th percentile local education agencies. The 1974-75 current expenditure in the 5th percentile school system is $1,830 over pupil; the current expenditure in the 95th percentile system is $1,010.