School Finance: The Russian Novel
This chapter addresses the financial issues related to the challenge of balancing expectations of higher levels of education with the values of equity, efficiency, and economic growth. An adequacy standard is, in effect, not only a question of how much money is enough but more accurately, a question of how much education is enough. Adequacy may signal the end of a Russian novel "and in the end everybody dies." The chapter discusses the social context of school finance in the United States. It examines the history of school finance in the United States including equity issues. The chapter shows how the school funds are spent. It focuses on how restructuring school budgeting can improve instruction and student performance. The chapter provides class activities for reflection and for using school experiences to develop budgeting case studies. It explores the interdistrict variations in property wealth disparities have been at the crux of most school finance equity cases.