School Finance in the 1990s

Allan R. Odden
University of Wisconsin–Madison

After taking a back seat to education reform pro­grams during the 1980s, school finance is again in the forefront. With the re­cent sweeping state supreme court deci­sions overturning school finance struc­tures in Kentucky, New Jersey, and Tex­as, and with active or planned cases in 23 additional states, education finance liti­gation, fiscal inequities, and school fi­nance reform have rebounded to high places on state education policy agendas. This article discusses the changing contours of school finance through the 1970s and 1980s and outlines the key is­sues in school finance for the 1990s, in­cluding:

  • the link between the basic structure of school finance and the state (or national) goals for education,

  • site-based management and site­-based budgeting,

  • teacher compensation,

  • accountability systems linked to stu­dent performance,

  • public school choice, and

  • such nontraditional issues as pre­school education, extended-day kinder­garten programs, and noneducational children's services.

This article was originally published in the The Phi Delta Kappan by Phi Delta Kappa International and Journal Storage (JSTOR).

Suggested citationOdden, A. R. (1992, February). School finance in the 1990s [Article]. Policy Analysis for California Education.