Courthouse, Statehouse, or Both? Redefining Institutional Roles in School Finance Reform
11 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2010 Last revised: 17 Sep 2012
Date Written: January 2, 2010
This Review discusses two new books that build upon the existing literature discussing remedies in school finance litigation. Both books - Courts and Kids (Rebell) and Schoolhouses, Courthouses, Statehouses (Hanushek and Lindseth) - make significant contributions to this literature. Hanushek and Lindseth are pessimistic about the role of courts in school finance reform, but are optimistic that school finance systems that hold school districts accountable for outcomes will provide a strong impetus for future legislative reform efforts across the nation. Rebell is less optimistic about legislatures and sees a broader role for courts, but he is confident that legislative solutions will only be effective if they are guided by a court’s use of both strong remedial principles and oversight. To harmonize the books' proposals, I propose a framework that leverages the strengths of both judicial and legislative oversight of school finance remedies.
Keywords: Education, School Finance Litigation, Institutional Competence, Accountability, Remedies
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