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ERIC Number: ED416274
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Nov-13
Pages: 43
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
A Case Study Investigating the Funding of Public Education K-12 in Urban versus Rural School Systems in Tennessee.
Rutledge, Valerie Copeland
The public school funding lawsuits that have been filed over the last two decades indicate that many people are not satisfied with the existing levels of school funding. After several years of trying to bring about changes through different avenues, a group called Tennessee Small School Systems filed suit in 1988 to have the system of financing public schools in Tennessee declared unconstitutional. This paper explores events leading to this suit, evaluates its effects, and considers the implications of legislated educational reforms. The Tennessee Small School Systems v. Ned Ray McWherter lawsuit occurred at the same time that a major piece of educational reform legislation was being contemplated by Tennessee's state legislature and senate. When the lawsuit resulted in a decree finding unconstitutional conditions, a mechanism was in place to provide some relief. The resulting Education Improvement Act and its funding component, the Basic Education Program, have made dramatic changes to the level and quality of education being provided to small, property-poor school systems throughout Tennessee. Many constraints that formerly controlled expenditures by local school systems were removed by this act, and the legislation called for more accountability by placing specific responsibilities on local governments, individual schools, and teachers. It may be the next century before a workable solution to school funding equity emerges, but the Basic Education Program at least has begun an effort to meet this need. Four appendixes present the study interview schedule, a summary of the McWherter court case, the Tennessee House of Representatives resolution for the educational improvement act, and a table listing major sources of funding for Tennessee schools. (Contains 3 tables and 29 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee