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ERIC Number: EJ1169325
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0098-9495
The Waning Impact of School Finance Litigation on Inequality in Per Student Revenue during the Adequacy Era
Condron, Dennis J.
Journal of Education Finance, v43 n1 p1-20 Sum 2017
Since 1989, most states have faced "adequacy" lawsuits that target state constitutions' education clauses in aiming to boost funding provided to disadvantaged districts--which should reduce overall inequality in school funding. Using pooled time-series data on 44 states over 19 years spanning the adequacy era, this study examines how adequacy lawsuits affect inequality in total per-student revenue within states. Three main findings emerge from the analyses. First, across all states on average, inequality in revenue declined from 1990 to 2000 but then rose steadily from 2001 onward. Second, revenue inequality was substantially lower in years following the filing of an adequacy lawsuit compared to years preceding the lawsuit. Third, the inequality-reducing impact of adequacy litigation was limited to the years 1990-2000; litigation had no significant impact on revenue inequality during the period 2001-2011. I conclude that 1990-2000 was a much more active and impactful period compared to 2001-2011 in terms of adequacy litigation, raising questions about the future of school finance litigation.
University of Illinois Press. 1325 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6903. Tel: 217-244-0626; Fax: 217-244-8082; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A