ERIC Number: ED333589
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Dec
Recent Challenges to State Systems of Financing Public Schools.
The question of whether inequities in the financing of public education violate state constitutional rights is examined in this document. Eight recent cases are discussed--four in which plaintiffs were unsuccessful in claiming that state school finance policies violated state constitutional guarantees for an education or equal protection, and four in which plaintiffs prevailed. Despite the lack of conformity in case outcomes and no consistent explanation for the pattern of court decisions, information about current debates is provided. Conclusions are that the theory of "municipal overburden" has had limited success; courts recognize the link between available money and educational quality; and the real issue appears to be the definition of local control. Variable decisions were handed down on the relationship between dollars spent and the quality of education, the role of the court, and the definition of and provisions for equal opportunity. A conclusion is that the current political climate of state-based reform and the role of state courts as a vehicle for law reform is conducive to challenges to unequal school systems. (27 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Law and Education, Boston, MA.