ERIC Number: ED158416
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1976
Reference Count: N/A
Public Interest Law Activity and the Litigation of School Finance: An Appraisal of the Equity and Efficiency Consequences. Reprint Series, 253.
Lee, A. James; Weisbrod, Burton A.
This paper is a case study of public interest law (PIL) activity in the litigation of traditional school finance mechanisms. It is part of a much larger effort to evaluate the social and economic consequences of PIL activity and to learn whether this recent institutional innovation is a useful supplement to government in correcting allocative-efficiency and distributive-equity failures of the private sector. After a brief introduction, the authors discuss the nature of potential market failures in education and the rationale for PIL intervention. In the main part of the paper, the authors focus on the school finance reform movement, the Serrano family of litigation, to determine the effect it has had not merely in the courtroom but in the actual reshaping of public policy toward school finance. This litigation illustrates both the strengths and weaknesses of litigation as an instrument for change in educational finance. Whereas the PIL efforts seem to have precipitated major school finance reform, there is at least some evidence that such developments were forthcoming anyway--although perhaps not quite so quickly. School finance litigation has, however, had a noteworthy direct and indirect effect in at least a few states. (Author/IRT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Inst. for Research on Poverty.