ERIC Number: ED326931
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
The Changing Contours of School Finance. Policy Briefs Number 15.
After being placed on the back burner during the 1980s, school finance is again a major issue. In the 1970s, reliance on property taxes created school district disparities because of unequal tax bases. Legislative reforms enacted between 1971 and 1985 had the following characteristics: school finance formulas were revamped; the state role in school, special needs, and urban district funding was increased; and limitations restricting local tax rate control were imposed. One major policy issue left unresolved conerns whether the problem of inequities was in tax base variation (solved by guaranteed tax bases) or in nonmandated per pupil spending. State funding increased from 40 percent to 47 percent during the 1970s and then by 3 percent during the 1980s. Litigation that occurred during the 1980s had three main characteristics: (1) some funding systems were found to be unconstitutional; (2) courts were more restrictive in fiscal disparity magnitudes; and (3) courts emphasized spending differences rather than just the differences between spending and wealth. Over the last two decades a healthy national economy and tax hikes have contributed to increased school funding. The main concern for the 1990s is deciding the best use to make of education revenues; this is best done by analyzing program tradeoffs, education as an investment, and effective allocation of revenue. Three inserts on Utah, California, and Arizona are included. They are: (1) "School Finance in Arizona," by Robert Stout; (2) "California School Finance," by Lawrence Picus; and (3) "Perspective on the Finance of Education in Utah," by Patrick Galvin. (EJS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Far West Lab. for Educational Research and Development, San Francisco, CA.
Identifiers: Arizona; California; Guaranteed Tax Base Plan; Utah