Abbott v. Burke: Has the Landmark School Funding Case Improved Student Outcomes?
Published: 11/13/2009 12:51:00 PM
Equity in Education Forum Series, Fall 2009
Teachers College, Columbia University
In 1970, four
cities challenged the constitutionality of the state’s school funding system,
arguing that large wealth-based variations in per pupil expenditures across the
state’s districts deprived students in low-wealth communities like theirs of a
“thorough and efficient” education. Since then, in over 20 decisions handed
down over the last 35 years, through Robinson
v. Cahill (1973-1976) and later Abbott
v. Burke (1985-2005), the New Jersey Supreme Court has sought to ensure
that all students in ,
particularly in distressed urban areas, have equal access to a quality
education. This paper examines the impact of court-mandated school finance
and describes the state’s new school funding formula, the School Finance Reform
Act (SFRA) of 2008, and its potential impact.
David Sciarra, Executive Director, Education Law Center
Gordon MacInnes, Fellow, Equality and Education Project, The Century Foundation, and Former Assistant Commissioner for the Abbott Implementation
Clifford Janey, Superintendent, Newark Public Schools, New Jersey
Goertz, M., Weiss, M. (2009). Assessing Success in School Finance Litigation: The Case of New Jersey. Education, Equity, and the Law: No. 1. New York: The Campaign for Educational Equity.
- Video Podcast, Equity Education Forum presentations
- Sciarra, D. (2009). Beyond School by School: Success under Abbott v. Burke. Powerpoint presentation at Equity in Education forum, New York, NY.
- Event summary: New Jersey's Decades-Long School Finance Case: So, What's the Payoff?.