Publication Date

July 2003


[Excerpt] Public elementary and secondary education is financed in many states at least partially at the local level and school district budgets in many states are determined by voter referenda. To date, however, there have been no studies that sought to explain why the proportion of school district budget proposals in a state that are approved by voters in referenda varies over time. Similarly no research has used panel data on school districts to test whether budget referenda failures are concentrated in a small number of school districts within a state and whether the failure of a budget referendum in a school district in one year influences the likelihood that voters in the district subsequently defeat a budget referendum in the next year. Our paper uses data from school budget votes in New York State to answer these questions.


Suggested Citation
Ehrenberg, R. G., Ehrenberg, R. A., Smith, C. L., and Zhang, L. (2003). Why do school district budget referenda fail? (CHERI Working Paper #24). Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement
Published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, Cornell University.