*Pending cases generally involve follow-up compliance decisions or proceedings in states where courts have ruled that there is a constitutional right to an adequate education and that the state’s current education-finance system is violating that right. The litigation in Iowa constitutes an initial judicial consideration of the constitutional issues. In Pennsylvania, plaintiffs are asking the state supreme court to reconsider its past refusals to enforce a right to an adequate education because of separation of powers reasons. The plaintiffs in Michigan are asking the federal district court to hold that students have a right to fundamental access to literacy under the equal-protection clause of the United States Constitution.
Summary of School Funding Court Cases (1973-2018)
State Defendant VictoryAlabama
The map below shows school-funding court decisions by state.
Click on a state for education-finance litigation details, recent events, and links to useful resources.
Defendant (State) Victory
No Court Decision
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]The judicial decisions shown on this map are decisions of the state’s highest court (or a non-appealed lower-court decision) that state whether or not elementary and high school students in the particular state have a legally enforceable right, under the state’s constitution, to “equity” or “adequacy” in school funding. The map does not include follow-up cases or compliance decisions, unless they reverse an initial liability ruling. States are listed as having “mixed results” if the courts have issued multiple decisions regarding these constitutional rights (for example, an “equity” decision favoring the plaintiffs and an “adequacy decision” favoring the defendants).