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Course Details

Course Number: 90-817

Regional Finance and Education Policy

Units: 12

The purpose of this new Heinz course is to introduce professional masters students to the special problems of financing regional governments in a decentralized federal system with a special focus on public education. The course reviews theories of federalism from economic and constitutional perspectives, examines financial and political problems associated with jointure, reviews alternative rationales for public financing and provision of education (k-16), distressed school systems and municipal governments, the international evidence on estimated economic returns and distributional effects of k-16 public education, the use of cost-effectiveness and educational production functions, school budgeting issues, the school property tax, intergovernmental relations and the design of school aid formulas, and the measurement and implications of student achievement.
There will be a mid-term and final exam; problem sets will deal with: (1) the particulars of state and local debt, (2) budgeting, (3) the time series forecasting of government revenues, (4) school formula aid design, and (5) property tax capitalization effects of student test scores.

While there are no prerequisites for this course per se, it is expected that a student interested in enrolling will have completed a course in the principles of micro-economics, had one course in economic or business statistics, and completed a course in financial accounting or financial analysis.

Robert P Strauss