ERIC Number: ED207160
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The State Role in Education Policy Innovation.
Kirst, Michael W.
During the 1970s the states greatly increased their role in educational policy innovation at the expense of local school districts. Previously, the states had varied widely along the spectrum of centrist versus localist control; they had been strongest only in such traditional areas as attendance, accreditation, and school facilities regulation. The growth of state control in the 1970s resulted chiefly from increases in states' fiscal and institutional capacity to regulate education and from the activities of interstate "policy issue networks." School finance reforms provide an example of the effects of one such network on state control. Non-profit organizations, lawyers, and technical assistance groups, linked and backed by the Ford Foundation and the National Institute of Education, won numerous state court battles that forced state legislatures to fund programs for educational equity. Besides finance reform, increases in state control also affected special needs programs, bilingual education, and minimum competency requirements. State control may have become excessive in the 1970s; however, data are lacking to assess the effects of state influence. State control is unlikely to continue expanding in the 1980s, as tax revolts will limit state spending. (RW)
Descriptors: Court Litigation, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Finance Reform, Fiscal Capacity, Networks, Power Structure, State Courts, State Legislation, State School District Relationship
Institute for Research on Educational Finance and Governance, School of Education, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (free).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Inst. for Research on Educational Finance and Governance.