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Latino Effect? Passing Tax and Bond Referenda in Illinois School Districts
Unformatted Document Text:  passing referenda, due to the high number of districts not proposing referenda during the 12 years of elections studied. We decided to focus on only those districts proposing referenda, to address whether these districts were more or less likely to pass the proposed referenda. Only Districts Proposing Referenda, 1995-2007 We removed districts not presenting referenda during the years 1995-2007, which left 583 districts. The same OLS regression model was run and the results are presented in Column 2 of Table 2 . In this instance, percent Latino emerged as significant, as did the amount of money spent per pupil by the school district. In districts with larger Latino populations, referenda are less likely to pass. As a district spends more money per pupil, the likelihood of referenda passing within that district increases. In this model, the district location was no longer associated with a referenda passing, as it was in the model with all districts. The effect of the age variable is less significant, but it still suggests that districts with younger populations are more likely to pass referenda. Districts Proposing Tax Referenda Next we focused on bond and tax referenda separately, theorizing that what might lead constituents to vote for bond referendum (allocating a certain amount of funds to the creation of a school, for example) might differ from what might lead the same constituents to vote for tax referendum (agreeing to an increase in their own tax expenses for the benefit of the local school). This time, we ran a linear regression model with a dependent variable of percent tax referenda passed, including the same independent variables as in the model with all referenda. We included only districts passing tax referenda (N=366). The results are shown in Column 3 of Table 2. In the instance of tax referenda, percent Latino is negatively associated with the likelihood of a tax item passing (t-test, p-value = .020), while the other characteristics are not. As with the model of all referenda, as the percent Latino population rises in a district, the likelihood of tax referenda passing decreases. 6

Authors: McKillip, Mary. and Chapa, Jorge.
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passing referenda, due to the high number of districts not proposing referenda during the 12
years of elections studied. We decided to focus on only those districts proposing referenda, to
address whether these districts were more or less likely to pass the proposed referenda.
Only Districts Proposing Referenda, 1995-2007
We removed districts not presenting referenda during the years 1995-2007, which left
583 districts. The same OLS regression model was run and the results are presented in Column 2
of Table 2 .
In this instance, percent Latino emerged as significant, as did the amount of money spent
per pupil by the school district. In districts with larger Latino populations, referenda are less
likely to pass. As a district spends more money per pupil, the likelihood of referenda passing
within that district increases. In this model, the district location was no longer associated with a
referenda passing, as it was in the model with all districts. The effect of the age variable is less
significant, but it still suggests that districts with younger populations are more likely to pass
referenda.
Districts Proposing Tax Referenda
Next we focused on bond and tax referenda separately, theorizing that what might lead
constituents to vote for bond referendum (allocating a certain amount of funds to the creation of
a school, for example) might differ from what might lead the same constituents to vote for tax
referendum (agreeing to an increase in their own tax expenses for the benefit of the local school).
This time, we ran a linear regression model with a dependent variable of percent tax
referenda passed, including the same independent variables as in the model with all referenda.
We included only districts passing tax referenda (N=366). The results are shown in Column 3 of
Table 2.
In the instance of tax referenda, percent Latino is negatively associated with the
likelihood of a tax item passing (t-test, p-value = .020), while the other characteristics are not. As
with the model of all referenda, as the percent Latino population rises in a district, the likelihood
of tax referenda passing decreases.
6


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