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ERIC Number: EJ990976
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0146-9282
Indiana's Formula Revisions and Bonner v. Daniels: An Analysis of Equity and Implications for School Funding
Hirth, Marilyn; Eiler, Edward
Educational Considerations, v39 n2 p38-43 Spr 2012
Indiana has a long history of school funding issues and distribution formula revisions. The most recent modifications to the formula were made between 2005 and 2009. One of the more controversial revisions was the removal of the minimum guarantee from the formula. As a result of these changes, three school districts filed a lawsuit challenging the adequacy of school funding in the state. The purpose of this article is to analyze the impact of changes in the state's distribution formula, review the 2009 ruling of the Indiana Supreme Court in the case of "Bonner ex rel. Bonner v. Daniels," and assess their significance for the future of public school funding in Indiana. In order to examine the impact of these formula changes and litigation, this study sought to answer the following questions: (1) What impact have recent formula changes had on the horizontal and vertical equity of Indiana's distribution formula?; (2) How effective is the use of the free and reduced-price lunch count as a proxy for other factors previously included in the complexity index?; (3) What is the impact on horizontal and vertical equity when selected additional state and local funds are considered in addition to the funds distributed through the state tuition support formula?; and (4) How might the "Bonner" decision impact future adequacy and funding arguments? The article is divided into four sections. The first provides background on Indiana's distribution formula and a history of school finance litigation while the second presents an analysis of the distribution formula using traditional school finance equity statistics. In the third section, the implications of the 2009 "Bonner" decision for Indiana school funding are discussed. The fourth, and final, section presents conclusions drawn from the study and legal analysis. (Contains 2 tables and 39 endnotes.)
Kansas State University, College of Education. 1100 Mid-Campus Drive, 006 Bluemont Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506. Tel: 785-532-5525; Fax: 785-532-7304; 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
Identifiers - Location: Indiana