Kimberly Robinson

No Quick Fix for Equity and Excellence: The Virtues of Incremental Shifts in Education Federalism

PUBLISHER
Stanford Law Review
DATE
2016 Summer
 

Abstract

School funding provides the foundation for our nation's schools. Yet, school funding in most states suffers from common shortcomings that undermine the aims of schools. These shortcomings include lower funding to districts serving students with greater needs, insufficient linkage of funding systems to desired educational outcomes, low funding levels and ineffective oversight of state funding systems. This article presents research that identifies these weaknesses of school funding systems. It then proposes that the federal government should exert influence over state funding systems in an incremental manner that would lead states to adopt more equitable and effective funding approaches. This incremental approach includes inviting incentives, compelling (but not unconstitutionally coercive) conditions, and meaningful mandates. This article then identifies the potential costs to this shift in education federalism as well as the potential benefits. It concludes by noting that although there is no quick fix for school funding that would support equity and excellence, substantial virtues exist for an incremental shift to education federalism that would drive the states toward more effective funding systems.

Citation

Kimberly J. Robinson, No Quick Fix for Equity and Excellence: The Virtues of Incremental Shifts in Education Federalism, 27 Stanford Law Review 201-250 (2016).
 

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