Washington Law Review


Current debates about the legality of public school funding systems recognize that existing systems combine state, local, and federal revenue sources. The exact nature of the governmental partnership involved is seldom specified, however, and the result is that the institutional relationships are not clearly seen. This failure of perception leads to difficulties when a court is asked to determine the constitutionality of such systems. Two recent state school finance opinions will be analyzed here to compare two different styles of judicial intervention. This article does not deal with all school finance litigation nor with all styles of judicial involvement in that litigation. The cases discussed, however, represent two typical approaches, and the contrast between them is instructive. Some general observations about the nature of the state-local partnership precede the case discussions.

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