Why do school district budget referenda fail?

Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Randy A. Ehrenberg, Christopher L. Smith, Liang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Our article analyzes historical data for New York State on the percentage of school board budget proposals that are defeated each year and panel data that we have collected on budget vote success for individual school districts in the state. We find that changes in state aid have little impact on budget vote success. Defeating a budget in one year increases the likelihood that voters will defeat a budget the next year. Finally, districts have a lower probability of having their budget proposals defeated when their school board members have longer terms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-125
Number of pages15
JournalEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


  • Budget referenda
  • School district finance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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