Public School Financing

January 26, 1972

Report Outline
Impending Change in School Support
Financial Plight of U.S. Education
Challenges Ahead in School Finance
Special Focus

Impending Change in School Support

Impending reforms in the manner of financing public schools in the United States are likely to be as far-reaching in their social consequences as the movement to desegregate the schools that was mandated by the Supreme Court in 1954. In a certain sense one follows inevitably on the other, for both look to an equalization in the quality of the education the government provides to each child in the nation. Recent court decisions underline the interlacing of school finance issues with those concerning equal opportunity, the war on poverty, and the continuing struggle to eliminate the penalties of racial segregation in American life.

President Nixon and other government leaders across the country are responding positively to the implications of those decisions. The President promised in his State of the Union address on Jan. 20 that at some time in 1972 he will propose reforms in taxing for public school support that “will be revolutionary.” School finance reform is becoming a paramount issue in a number of state legislatures, including those in four states where courts have recently struck down present methods of public school support. Expert studies of taxation in relation to school support abound. Academic authorities whose technical studies have long pointed to the deficiencies in the prevailing method of financing public schools have reason to believe that the hour for action has come. Virtually no one considering the problem of education finance believes the existing structure of tax support for public schools should be left as it is, or could be preserved without serious damage to the schools and ultimately to society itself. The call is for a drastic overhaul.

Two major deficiencies in public school financing have converged to spur the call for change: (1) the inadequacy of school budgets in many places, especially in the central districts of the big cities, to meet the demands being made on the schools, and (2) the great disparities in the amount of money available for school use from one state to another and from one community to another within the same state.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Feb. 03, 2017  Civic Education
Sep. 05, 2014  Race and Education
Jun. 13, 2014  Dropout Rate
May 09, 2014  School Discipline
Mar. 07, 2014  Home Schooling
Dec. 02, 2011  Digital Education
Nov. 15, 2011  Expanding Higher Education
Dec. 10, 2010  Preventing Bullying Updated
Apr. 16, 2010  Revising No Child Left Behind
Mar. 26, 2010  Teen Pregnancy
Sep. 04, 2009  Financial Literacy
Jun. 05, 2009  Student Rights
Feb. 22, 2008  Reading Crisis?
Jul. 13, 2007  Students Under Stress
Apr. 27, 2007  Fixing Urban Schools Updated
Nov. 10, 2006  Video Games Updated
Mar. 03, 2006  AP and IB Programs
Oct. 07, 2005  Academic Freedom
Aug. 26, 2005  Evaluating Head Start
May 27, 2005  No Child Left Behind
Jan. 17, 2003  Home Schooling Debate
Sep. 06, 2002  Teaching Math and Science
Jun. 07, 2002  Grade Inflation
Dec. 07, 2001  Distance Learning
Apr. 20, 2001  Testing in Schools
May 14, 1999  National Education Standards
Apr. 10, 1998  Liberal Arts Education
Jul. 26, 1996  Attack on Public Schools
May 17, 1996  Year-Round Schools
Oct. 20, 1995  Networking the Classroom
Sep. 22, 1995  High School Sports
Jan. 20, 1995  Parents and Schools
Sep. 09, 1994  Home Schooling
Mar. 25, 1994  Private Management of Public Schools
Mar. 11, 1994  Education Standards
Apr. 09, 1993  Head Start
Nov. 30, 1990  Conflict Over Multicultural Education
Feb. 05, 1988  Preschool: Too Much Too Soon?
Oct. 23, 1987  Education Reform
Aug. 24, 1984  Status of the Schools
Sep. 10, 1982  Schoolbook Controversies
Sep. 03, 1982  Post-Sputnik Education
Aug. 18, 1978  Competency Tests
Jan. 26, 1972  Public School Financing
Nov. 03, 1971  Education for Jobs
Apr. 15, 1970  Reform of Public Schools
Aug. 27, 1969  Discipline in Public Schools
Dec. 27, 1968  Community Control of Public Schools
Jun. 14, 1965  Summer School Innovations
Oct. 28, 1964  Education of Slum Children
Jun. 05, 1963  Year-Round School
Mar. 28, 1962  Mentally Retarded Children
Dec. 17, 1958  Educational Testing
Sep. 25, 1957  Liberal Education
Jul. 11, 1956  Educational Exchange
Feb. 02, 1955  Federal Aid for School Construction
Mar. 07, 1951  Education in an Extended Emergency
Nov. 20, 1945  Postwar Public Education
Nov. 07, 1941  Standards of Education
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Education Policy