The Economic History of School Finance in the United States

Charles Scott Benson
University of California, Berkeley
Kevin O'Halloran
University of California, Berkeley


This paper argues that the components of educa­tional provisions which satisfy private demands, mythology aside, almost invariably win out over the public goods components. If true, this leads, on the one hand, to a diminished supply of social benefits, and, on the other, to a stifling of social mobility. Insofar as these arguments are correct, they also may apply in most coun­tries of the world, whether capitalist or socialist.

This article was originally published in the Journal of Education Finance by the University of Illinois Press and Journal Storage (JSTOR).

Suggested citationBenson, C. S., & O'Halloran, K. (1987, March). The economic history of school finance in the United States [Article]. Policy Analysis for California Education.