The Diffusion of the Constitution: State Constitutions and State Education Financing

Posted: 22 Feb 2011

See all articles by Robert M. Howard

Robert M. Howard

Georgia State University

Christine H. Roch

Georgia State University - Dept. of Public Management and Policy; Georgia State University - Department of Public Management and Policy

Abstract

This manuscript uses a dyadic dataset and event history analysis to examine when a state court of last resort is likely to order education finance reform. Examining adopting and emulating states over the period 1970 through 2004 we find several things that support and expand on prior research, such as showing the importance to a state court of its constitutional language and its institutional structure. However, we also find that success for courts is different than success for a legislature. Applied to the matter of education finance reform, we find that courts do engage in emulation. There is a dialogue of law going on and court ordered education finance reform is transmitted from one state court to another. There is policy convergence between state courts. However, the factors that matter to a court are different than the factors that matter to a legislature. Courts, unlike legislatures, focus on state level differences not state level similarities. The state courts seem to take strength from the idea that courts that are in a weaker legal and structural position can still order finance reform. Thus courts make policy, but they do so in a manner very different from a legislature.

Suggested Citation

Howard, Robert Matthew and Roch, Christine H. and Roch, Christine H., The Diffusion of the Constitution: State Constitutions and State Education Financing. Western Political Science Association 2011 Annual Meeting Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1766826

Robert Matthew Howard (Contact Author)

Georgia State University ( email )

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Atlanta, GA 30303-4069
United States
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Christine H. Roch

Georgia State University - Department of Public Management and Policy ( email )

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Georgia State University - Dept. of Public Management and Policy ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

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