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ERIC Number: ED504918
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul
Pages: 46
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Safe and Adequate: Using Litigation to Address Inadequate K-12 School Facilities
Sciarra, David G.; Bell, Koren L.; Kenyon, Susan
Education Law Center
In the last twenty years, courts throughout the country have entertained claims relating to disparities in school funding. Early school finance suits sought to equalize "inputs" in terms of per pupil or overall expenditures. More recently, the advent of rigorous state accountability plans and the federal No Child Left Behind Act has pushed the question of the resources and conditions necessary for all students to achieve at high levels to the fore. Advocates argue "If the states are making schools and students accountable, then surely the states have a reciprocal duty to make certain that the students have an opportunity to learn." Accordingly, school finance suits have shifted away from equality of inputs and toward the adequacy (or lack thereof), of public education. Increasingly, these "adequacy" suits center on claims of unsafe and therefore, educationally inadequate facilities in low income school districts. This paper surveys emerging trends in the scope, strategy, and rulings of adequacy suits, focusing on the role facilities deficiencies play in opening the door to broader scrutiny of states' education systems. (Contains 213 footnotes.)
Education Law Center. 60 Park Place Suite 300, Newark, NJ 07102. Tel: 973-624-1815; Fax: 973-624-7339; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Ford Foundation
Authoring Institution: Education Law Center
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001