A Level Playing Field

School Finance in the Northeast

By Jane Fowler Morse

Subjects: Education Policy And Leadership
Paperback : 9780791469323, 365 pages, December 2006
Hardcover : 9780791469316, 365 pages, December 2006

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Table of contents

List of Tables
1. Education, Inequity, and the Level Playing Field

2. The Search for a Legal Solution in New York
3. Sharing in Vermont
4. Executive Reform in Ontario
5. The Impact of Poverty on Children’s Performance in School
6. The Impact of Racism on Children’s Performance in School

7. Education Funding and Progress

Examines the legal and political details of school funding reform in New York, Vermont, and Ontario.


In this timely work, Jane Fowler Morse reviews the history of school finance litigation in the United States and then examines recent legal and political struggles to obtain equitable school funding in New York, Vermont, and Ontario. These three places have employed strikingly different strategies to address this issue, and Morse analyzes lessons learned at each that will benefit both public officials and citizens interested in seeking reform elsewhere. Drawing on writers from Aristotle to Cass Sunstein and Martin Luther King Jr., she also explores the concepts of social justice and equity, highlighting the connections between racism, poverty, and school funding. The result is a passionate plea for equitable funding of public education nationwide to instantiate the ideal of "liberty and justice for all."

Jane Fowler Morse is Professor of Education at the State University of New York at Geneseo.


"This interesting and important book covers a critical topic in a thorough and well-documented way. Indeed, it provides an encyclopedia of school law cases that are relevant not only to school finance, but also to school equity. Policy and law scholars, as well as historians, will find this an important reference, and the book can be used in courses in school law, policy studies, and administration." — Ellen Brantlinger, author of Dividing Classes: How the Middle Class Negotiates and Rationalizes School Advantage