America Goes to School: Law, Reform, and Crisis in Public Education

By Robert M. Hardaway | Go to book overview

Chapter Eight

Public School Financing and the Issue of Inequality

No discussion of equal educational opportunity would be complete without reference to methods of public school financing. It will be recalled that the earliest state education laws delegated to local communities the responsibility for providing free public education. 1 For local communities, property taxes provided the most feasible mean of raising the revenues necessary to finance public schools. Traditionally, therefore, property taxes have provided the primary source of funding for public education.

This traditional American means of financing public education did not result from any one calculated legislative policy or scheme. Rather it evolved naturally from the complex federalist structure of government, and the reservation of local and state powers envisioned by the constitutional framers and enshrined in the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution. 2

Nevertheless, by the mid- 1970s it had become apparent that school financing systems based on local property taxes resulted in inequalities between school districts in per capita educational expenditures. Since actual property tax revenues depend not only on the rate of taxation, but also on the underlying valuation of the property taxed, many property-rich school districts can provide higher per capita educational expenditures with lower property tax rates than many poorer districts can provide with higher tax rates. For this reason disparities in per pupil expenditures between school districts within a state exist in most states. In 1989, for example, per pupil expenditures in the Chicago area varied from $9,371 in Niles Township to $5,265; 3 in New York disparities ranged from $11,372 to $5,885; 4 and in New Jersey from $7,725 to $3,538. 5

Because of such disparities, there has been a temptation to simplistically apply concepts of equal protection to strike down school financing systems in which per pupil expenditures are based on the wealth of the school district. As early as 1971, for example, the California Supreme Court in Serrano v. Priest6 held that education was a fundamentally protected right and that a financing system that made

-159-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
America Goes to School: Law, Reform, and Crisis in Public Education
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 212

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.