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I live in a township which has relatively low property taxes but higher property values. The school districts are in the upper quartile with respect to standardized scores. There is no high school. The township pays an adjacent township to ship high school students. I presume my township pays the other township some stipend per student.

Recently, my township said they will layoff 50-60% of the teachers. Obviously, for parents it was a shock and some fear.

My question is how do I objectively analyze the township's track record on finances and economics?

My approach would be:

  1. Find similar townships in the same county with similar population, +/- 15%

  2. Look at the townships municipal bond offering to get a better view of their finances

How does this approach sound? Is there anything obvious I am missing?

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  • $\begingroup$ First of all what do you even mean by track record? Before doing any analysis you must make sure you know in advance what financial and economic outcomes you want to compare. Also regarding your approach 1. Is just very bad science - it’s not objective at all - based on what you decided on +/-15% is the limit to say that two townships are similar? That’s just completely arbitrary choice exact opposite of objectivity. You should collect data on as many townships as you can and then control for their respective background characteristics. $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Apr 10, 2020 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ 2. I am not sure how just looking at municipal bond offering helps to determine how the finance of municipality is doing. A financially healthy municipality might decide to issue more bonds than a municipality at a brink of bankruptcy. You get some information on how investors expect the municipality will be doing from the demand side and interest rate but not enough to get some holistic view of municipality finance. For that you would need data on the budget and other general economic indicators in municipality. $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Apr 10, 2020 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I didn't know where to start thats why I ask. $\endgroup$ Apr 10, 2020 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ you are welcome, if you find out which outcomes you actually want to compare edit the question you will get much better answers $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Apr 10, 2020 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know what to compare. I though a bond offering would be the most efficient and easieist. I guess not. $\endgroup$ Apr 11, 2020 at 0:07

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