The graying of America and support for funding the nation's schools

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Surveys spanning more than 35 years show that older Americans are less likely than younger citizens to endorse increased spending on public schools. The conventional explanation for this generational cleavage presumes that citizens' interests change as they approach or transition into retirement - the absence of school-age children and fixed incomes combine to lower their interest in supporting spending increases for public education. We show that the conventional wisdom is incorrect, based on a confusion of age and cohort effects. Cohort-period analysis shows that every cohort becomes more supportive of educational spending, rather than less, as they reach their 60s and 70s. The implications are important, for they suggest that the predicted "gray peril" to educational spending will not occur. Rather, our results suggest that public support for educational spending will continue its remarkable rise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-86
Number of pages21
JournalPublic Opinion Quarterly
Volume69
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 12 2005

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Education
funding
citizen
public support
public education
retirement
school
wisdom
income
Cohort
Funding
Conventional
Public Education
Perils
Cleavage
Wisdom
Income
Confusion
Retirement
Rise

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Cite this

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The graying of America and support for funding the nation's schools. / Plutzer, Eric; Berkman, Michael Barth.

In: Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1, 12.09.2005, p. 66-86.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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