Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Shanna Rose

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This study aims to measure the impact of equity-oriented school finance reforms in California on student achievement using a mixed-methods approach. This study uses data from the California Department of Education, the American Community Survey – Education Tabulation, and two interviews with school district officials to analyze the effect of the concentration grant—a grant targeted for low-income students, English Language Learners, and foster youth—on student test scores for the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments in English and math by school district. Using a combination of OLS, IV, and RD designs, this study uses a sample of 196 school districts to compare student outcomes in those that met the eligibility cutoff point for the concentration grant and school districts that did not. Overall, results show statistically insignificant effects on student achievement and intergroup achievement gaps, including racial achievement gaps. The presence of the concentration grant is associated with an increase in the percentage of all students who met the English standard but is associated with negative impacts on intergroup achievement gaps. Other organizational and individual attributes, like leadership, decision-making processes, and beliefs about students, can affect the concentration grant’s ability to reach the neediest students.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.