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Schoolhouses, courthouses, and statehouses after Serrano

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Author Info

  • William N. Evans

    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland)

  • Sheila E. Murray

    (Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and Department of Economics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky)

  • Robert M. Schwab

    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland)

Abstract

The constitutionality of public school finance systems has been challenged in 43 states in the 25 years since the landmark Serranodecision. Using data on revenues from more than 16,000 school districts over the 1972-1992 period, this article assesses the impact of court-mandated reform on the role of the states in school finance. We find that resources from the state increased while revenues from local districts were roughly unchanged after successful litigation. States also followed a more aggressive redistribution policy in the aftermath of court-mandated reform; after successful litigation, state aid to the poorest districts increased and aid to the wealthiest districts remained unchanged. Finally, we find that reforms that were initiated by the states without judicial prodding were typically ineffective.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Volume (Year): 16 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 10-31

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:16:y:1997:i:1:p:10-31

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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References

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  1. Courant, Paul N & Gramlich, Edward M & Loeb, Susanna, 1995. "Michigan's Recent School Finance Reforms: A Preliminary Report," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 372-77, May.
  2. Silva, Fabio & Sonstelie, Jon, 1995. "Did Serrano Cause a Decline in School Spending," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(2), pages 199-215, June Cita.
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Cited by:
  1. Sims, David P., 2011. "Suing for your supper? Resource allocation, teacher compensation and finance lawsuits," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1034-1044, October.
  2. Barrow, Lisa & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 2004. "Using market valuation to assess public school spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1747-1769, August.
  3. Figlio, David N. & Husted, Thomas A. & Kenny, Lawrence W., 2004. "Political economy of the inequality in school spending," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 338-349, March.
  4. James Alm & Robert D. Buschman & David L. Sjoquist, 0. "Citizen "Trust" as an Explanation of State Education Funding to Local School Districts," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 636-661.
  5. Iatarola, P. & Stiefel, L., 2003. "Intradistrict equity of public education resources and performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 69-78, February.
  6. Card, David & Payne, A. Abigail, 2002. "School finance reform, the distribution of school spending, and the distribution of student test scores," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 49-82, January.
  7. Harris, Amy Rehder & Evans, William N. & Schwab, Robert M., 2001. "Education spending in an aging America," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 449-472, September.

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