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Racial Context and Political Support for California School Taxes


Social Science Quarterly

Published online on


["\n\nObjective\nTo determine how racial context influences school districts’ ability to raise taxes and whether it is mitigated by racial context.\n\n\nMethod\nPanel regression models are fit to a data set of 293 parcel tax measures and 967 California school districts from 1997 to 2010, including data on the racial composition of enrolled students, the district population, and the school board, with controls for features of the policy and the social, political, and economic context.\n\n\nResults\nSchool boards were least likely to propose new parcel taxes where there was a high percentage of Latinx students or a large gap between the percentage of white students and the percentage of white residents 65 and older. Once a tax was proposed, these and other measures of racial context had no measurable influence on the propensity of voters to approve it. Policy design influenced outcomes, but not by mitigating racial context.\n\n\nConclusion\nRacial context affects whether school districts propose new taxes.\n\n", "Social Science Quarterly, EarlyView. "]