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An Uneven Playing Field: The Disparate Impacts of Local Aid Cuts

Executive Summary

Date: March 14th, 2011

The first in a series of papers through the 2012-2013 budget-writing cycle in which the Center will analyze the potential impact of “downshifting” in various forms.

When contemplating reductions in financial aid to cities, towns and school districts, policymakers should consider the specific impact of each type of cut, rather than think solely in terms of bottom line dollar amounts. What are the goals of a cut in state aid to local communities? To spread the pain equitably among communities, or to use “downshifting” as a policy tool that may impact communities in disparate ways?

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