Show me the money: Estimating public expenditures to improve outcomes for children, families, and communities


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Understanding how money is spent to educate children and support families in local communities can help improve community decision making about public resources. This article reports on a process used in Los Angeles to derive estimates of total public expenditures on services for children and families in the community around the University of Southern California campus. Findings reveal the substantial amount of public resources spent by schools and other public agencies in one inner-city community. They also show that only one-half of the resources available for children in this inner-city neighborhood are controlled by the school district. Because each institution is responsible for its own budget, an overview of combined resources is generally not available to inform policy makers and help community groups take local action. The authors suggest steps that could be used to better understand resource allocation patterns in other communities.

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