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Schoolhouses, courthouses, and statehouses after Serrano

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • William N. Evans & Sheila E. Murray & Robert M. Schwab, 1997. "Schoolhouses, courthouses, and statehouses after Serrano," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 10-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:16:y:1997:i:1:p:10-31 DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6688(199724)16:1<10::AID-PAM2>3.0.CO;2-L
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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 372-377, May.
    3. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Roy Roy, 2004. "Impact of School Finance Reform on Resource Equalization and Academic Performance: Evidence from Michigan," Working Papers 8, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Education Research Section..
    2. Erin K. Melton, 2017. "Testing Turbulence: Exploring the Determinants of Managerial Networking," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 19-37, March.
    3. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 2003. "Equity and Resources: An Analysis of Education Finance Systems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 858-897, August.
    4. Barrow, Lisa & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 2004. "Using market valuation to assess public school spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1747-1769.
    5. Aaronson, Daniel, 1999. "The Effect of School Finance Reform on Population Heterogeneity," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(1), pages 5-29, March.
    6. T. A. Downes & D. N. Figlio, "undated". "School Finance Reforms, Tax Limits, and Student Performance: Do Reforms Level Up or Dumb Down?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1142-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    7. 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.
    8. Coen-Pirani, Daniele, 2015. "Human capital accumulation in a federation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 104-124.
    9. 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.
    10. Kevin C. Bastian & Gary T. Henry & Charles L. Thompson, 2013. "Incorporating Access to More Effective Teachers into Assessments of Educational Resource Equity," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 560-580, October.
    11. Dee, Thomas S, 2000. "The Capitalization of Education Finance Reforms," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 185-214, April.
    12. Erin Melton, 2014. "The Consequences of Conflict: An Evaluation of Racial Disparity and Organizational Performance," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 267-284, September.
    13. Raquel Fernandez, 2001. "Sorting, Education and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 8101, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 2000. "Evidence on the Impact of State Government on Primary and Secondary Education and the Equity-Efficiency Trade-Off," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 285-308, April.
    17. repec:pit:wpaper:286 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Hansjörg Blöchliger & Claire Charbit, 2008. "Fiscal equalisation," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2008(1), pages 1-22.
    19. Giorgio Brosio, 2017. "Equalization transfers and convergence between federal and unitary systems: a contribution to their historical analysis," Working papers 61, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    20. 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.
    21. Fernández, Raquel, 2001. "Sorting, Education and Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 3020, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. 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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