Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 2-28-1972


The purpose of the study was to measure the equali­zation effects of twenty selected New Mexico school fund distributions relative to the school districts' fiscal capacities.

An index of fiscal capacity was developed by dividing the assessed valuation of each school district by the 180 day average daily membership during two target years. The target years, 1968-69 and 1969-70, were selected because the state legislature changed the basic public school distribution formula from a "weighted pupil" index for 1968-69 to a "staffing" index for 1969-70.

The relationship between each of the distributions and the New Mexico Public School Fiscal Capacity Index was statistically tested with a Pearson's Product-moment Correlation. In addition, a graphic display was produced for each distribution to provide a visual interpretation of the results.

The findings indicated that the distributions generally tend to be anti-equalizing in their effect. The total state distributions for both target years were anti-equalizing ta a statistically significant degree. The Total State plus Total Federal distributions were determined ta anti-equalize at the .01 level of significance for 1968-69 and ta anti-equalize at only the .10 level of significance for 1969-70. The comparison between the state's 1968-69 "weighted pupil" formula and the 1969-70 "staffing" formula revealed that both were anti-equalizing at the .01 level of significance with the 1969-70 "staffing" formula producing a slightly lower coefficient of correla­tion, thus tending to be slightly less anti-equalizing. Some of the recommendations emerging from the study are:

1. That studies on school district "effort" and individual "taxpayer burden" be conducted and that indexes be constructed for quantitative comparisons.

2. That lawmakers and state officials be made aware of the equalization needs in the state's public school distribution formula.

Document Type


Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

James A. Hale

Second Committee Member

Ronald E. Blood

Third Committee Member

John A. Aragon