1. SCHOOL DISTRICTS INCLUDED IN ANALYSIS
California school districts consist of elementary, secondary and unified school districts, which sometimes overlap. We created a geographic school district file (also called a “shapefile”) that covers all of California, with no overlapping districts. The file consists of all unified school districts, all secondary school districts, and the elementary school districts that are not served by secondary districts. Our shapefile does not include all school districts in California, but it does include all geographic areas in California. For analysis, we excluded school districts with fewer than 100 students and/or with no census data available.
2. CENSUS TRACTS INCLUDED IN ANALYSIS
For analysis we excluded census tracts with fewer than 100 children (residents aged 5-19 years).
3. LOTTERY SALES
Total lottery sales for 2014 for each lottery retailer in the state were provided by the California Lottery Commission. We geocoded the 21,645 lottery retailers to 99% accuracy and aggregated the lottery sales to both census tracts and school districts.
4. LOTTERY ALLOCATIONS
Lottery allocations were provided by the California Lottery Commission. The data includes the total 2013-2014 allocations for school districts, charters, community colleges and the California State University system. We processed the data to include only money for K-12.
K-12 lottery funds are mandated to be distributed evenly among all students in California but the data provided by the CA State Lottery shows a different per pupil allocation in some cases. On average, districts received approximately $164/pupil in 2014. The money is given to the school districts to distribute and spend.
“Fairer” Allocations are defined as 21.7% of the total sales within the school district. Since 21.7% of lottery sales are returned to the K-12 portion of the Lottery Education Fund, this approximates a proportional allocation under which school districts receive lottery funding in proportion to the amount of money that it’s citizens contributed to the lottery system.
We aggregated all allocations to charters and any excluded elementary school districts to the overlapping school district included in our school district shapefile.
Allocations at the level of census tracts are calculated as the school district per pupil allocation rate multiplied by the estimated number of students in the census tract (see Population, Enrollments and Socioeconomic Data; Census Tract Enrollment for how we calculate number of students in each census tract), i.e. the amount of money received by students in the overlapping school district, times the number of those students estimated to live within a given census tract. Since K-12 lottery money is distributed evenly among all students in California this is an approximation of what each census tract receives under the current allocation system.
Census tract estimated allocations, under the current and “fairer” systems are helpful in determining the amount of money going in and out of each community from the lottery.
5. GAIN/LOSS TO THE LOTTERY
For each school district and census tract, we calculated the net gain or loss in several ways:
Community Wealth Gained or Lost to Lottery – Total lottery allocations minus total lottery sales.
Wealth Transfer from the Lottery – Total lottery allocations under current system minus total lottery allocations under a “fairer” allocation system. Negative numbers indicate that a school district is receiving less than 21.7% of the money that they have contributed to the lottery system.
Community Wealth Gained or Lost to Lottery – Total estimated lottery allocations minus the total lottery sales within the census tract.
Wealth Transfer from the Lottery – The total estimated lottery allocations under current system minus total lottery allocations under a “fairer” allocation system. Negative numbers indicate that a community is estimated to receive less than 21.7% of the money that they have contributed to the lottery system.
Effort per $1 in Lottery funding – The total lottery sales divided by total lottery allocations. This describes the amount of money that each school district is spending on the lottery for every dollar that they receive.
6. POPULATION, ENROLLMENTS AND SOCIOECONOMIC DATA
Number of Students – The Average Daily Attendance (ADA) from the California Lottery Commission that the state of California uses to calculate the allocations from the lottery education fund. ADA from charter schools and excluded elementary school districts are added to the district that they sit within.
Median Household Income – American Community Survey, 2013
Number of Students – The US Census does not report the number of students in each census tract. We estimated the number of students as 85% of the census Population 5-19 years. We chose 85% because the statewide ADA = 85% of the statewide population 5-19 years.
Median Household Income – American Community Survey, 2013 High School Graduation Rate – American Community Survey, 2013