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Hardcover | $40.00 Short | £27.95 | ISBN: 9780262240468 | 392 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 18 illus.| May 2004

Essential Info

Helping Children Left Behind

State Aid and the Pursuit of Educational Equity
Edited by John Yinger


Federal reform legislation declares, through its title, that no child should be left behind. Despite this, the sad truth is that many children are being left behind, particularly in large, poor, urban school districts. Because of this inequity, state supreme courts have thrown out the education finance systems in eighteen states, and many states have implemented major education finance reforms. These reforms have lessened disparities in educational spending but appear to have had little impact on disparities in educational performance. Helping Children Left Behind explores both the general issues in education finance reform and the experiences of five states to understand why these disparities persist and to design policies that address them. The book is a valuable resource for scholars, public officials, and others interested in education finance reform.

The first part of the book addresses the general issues involved in reform of state aid to education. After a comprehensive introductory chapter that outlines such issues as selecting aid formulas, adjusting for disadvantaged students, district accountability, and school choice, the chapters in part I examine these issues in more depth, discussing court cases involving school finance reform, the relationship between funding and accountability, and the consequences and feedback effects of school aid reform policies, including the effect on residential patterns. The second part of the book consists of detailed case studies of recent ambitious school finance reform efforts in Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Texas, and Vermont. Three appendixes offer valuable reference material, describing significant state court decisions on school finance systems (through June 2003), state operating aid programs, and state building aid formulas.

About the Editor

John Yinger is Trustee Professor of Public Administration and Economics and Director of the Education Finance and Accountability Program in the Center for Policy Research at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University.


"A stunning example of the very best in hard-hitting social science research. The volume provides scientifically rigorous answers to some of the most compelling and practical public policy questions of the day."
—David H. Monk, Dean, College of Education, Pennsylvania State University

"Helping Children Left Behind presents comprehensive and timely research on education finance policy in the United States. The case studies of five states that reformed their public school funding highlight the technical and policy issues that elected officials face as they redesign state aid systems. This book is essential for researchers and policymakers who strive to develop more equitable, adequate and efficient school finance systems."
—Margaret E. Goertz, University of Pennsylvania

"Lawyers, policymakers, and anyone connected with school funding issues in the U.S. will find in this edited volume a wealth of information about school finance court cases, existing state aid programs, and, most important, state-of-the-art thinking by economists and policy analysts about how best to design those programs to promote student achievement and educational equity. Required reading on a topic of vital social importance."
—Helen F. Ladd, Edgar Thompson Professor of Public Policy Studies, Duke University