Vol. 31, No. 2 (Summer
The Dilemma of School Finance Reform
West Virginia University
In many states school finance litigation has mandated the centralization
of education funding in an attempt to improve educational adequacy.
This study uses data on Ohio school districts to investigate
the factors affecting school district performance and finds
few aggregate variables that state education policymakers can
change to improve student performance. The author argues that
this presents a dilemma for state policymakers who are under
a judicial order to improve educational opportunity through
increased financing. Given the constraints imposed by the judiciary,
the superior knowledge of local officials suggests that state
policymakers should give local school district officials autonomy
to craft local solutions.