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States Face Constitutional Challenges

Nearly half of all states face constitutional challenges to their school finance systems, and more often than not, the plaintiffs win. That's the conclusion of a nationwide review conducted by a Columbia University research group.
Nearly half of all states face constitutional challenges to their school finance systems, and more often than not, the plaintiffs win. That's the conclusion of a nationwide review conducted by a Columbia University research group.

"The biggest trend is that there is just a lot of it," said Molly Hunter, research director for the Teachers College at Columbia, referring to school finance litigation nationwide. "We've had cases in 45 of the 50 states, and we have a lot of live cases right now. ...This has been one of the most active times for litigation that we've seen."

She said that plaintiffs in recent years have typically mounted adequacy claims that call for more money for schools and which depend upon educational guarantees included in state constitutions. She said the lawsuits have met with greater success in recent years, as states move toward standardized accountability systems.

This article, written by R.A. Dyer, appeared in the December 26, 2005 publication of The Star-Telegram.

Published Friday, Jan. 6, 2006

States Face Constitutional Challenges

Nearly half of all states face constitutional challenges to their school finance systems, and more often than not, the plaintiffs win. That's the conclusion of a nationwide review conducted by a Columbia University research group.

"The biggest trend is that there is just a lot of it," said Molly Hunter, research director for the Teachers College at Columbia, referring to school finance litigation nationwide. "We've had cases in 45 of the 50 states, and we have a lot of live cases right now. ...This has been one of the most active times for litigation that we've seen."

She said that plaintiffs in recent years have typically mounted adequacy claims that call for more money for schools and which depend upon educational guarantees included in state constitutions. She said the lawsuits have met with greater success in recent years, as states move toward standardized accountability systems.

This article, written by R.A. Dyer, appeared in the December 26, 2005 publication of The Star-Telegram.

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