Publications

Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts (2009)

By Michael A. Rebell
While federal courts have dramatically retreated, state courts have taken up the mantle of promoting the vision of educational equity originally articulated in Brown v. Board of Ed. This is the first detailed analysis of why the state courts have taken on this role and how successful their efforts have been.

Courts and Kids Supplement (2015)

By Michael A. Rebell
While federal courts have dramatically retreated, state courts have taken up the mantle of promoting the vision of educational equity originally articulated in Brown v. Board of Ed. This is a supplement to the detailed analysis of why the state courts have taken on this role and how successful their efforts have been.

The Price We Pay: Economic and Social Consequences of Inadequate Education (2007)

By Clive Belfield and Henry M. Levin
This book highlights the private, fiscal, and public costs of educational inequities. Drawing from “The Social Costs of Inadequate Education,” it considers demographic trends and policy interventions.

Ensuring Adequate Funding: The Role of the Courts (2016)

By Michael A. Rebell
As part of the book, Learning from the Federal Marked-Based Reforms, Rebell reviews the court’s role in school funding reform and establishes its legitimacy in creating policy that ensures adequate and equitable funding for public education.

Rodriguez Past, Present, and Future (Winter 2015)

By Michael A. Rebell
Rebell’s Chapter in Understanding Rodriguez and Educational Opportunity in the United States reconsiders the San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez U.S. Supreme Court decision and establishes why the Rodriguez case was wrongly decided.

Safeguarding the Right to a Sound Basic Education in Times of Fiscal Constraint (July 2012)

By Michael A. Rebell
In this article, Rebell emphasizes that constitutional rights cannot be denied or deferred because of state financial constraints. He also goes on to outline five steps states can take to meet their constitutional obligations while, at the same time, promoting efficiency and cost-effectiveness practices to meet their budget goals.

The Right to Comprehensive Educational Opportunity (Winter 2012)

By Michael A. Rebell
Seeks to establish a statutory and constitutional basis for a right to comprehensive educational opportunity. The federal No Child Left Behind Act (“NCLB”), building on the nation’s egalitarian traditions, implicitly establishes a statutory right to comprehensive educational opportunity through its stated goal of providing “fair, equal and substantial” educational opportunities to all children and its mandate that all children be proficient in meeting challenging state standards by 2014; in the pending reauthorization of NCLB, this implicit right should be made explicit. The constitutional arguments are based on both state and federal precedents.

“Judicial Activism” and Public Policy (Winter 2011)

By Michael A. Rebell
Discusses the court’s newer and significant role as judicial policy makers in an increasingly administrative and managerial state.

The Kids Are Not Alright (January 2011)

By Michael A. Rebell
Rebell highlights the legal implications of the school-funding crisis due to mounting deficits. He also emphasizes the need to safeguard education during this difficult fiscal time.

Building a Sustained School Facilities Remedy: Arizona’s Innovative Blueprint for Capital Funding (July 2010)

By Molly A. Hunter
Hunter reviews Arizona’s FIRST Act after 10 years of implementation and highlights the success the FIRST Act has had in identifying and correcting deficiencies.

Assessing Success in School Finance Litigation: The Case of New Jersey (November 2009)

By Margaret E. Goertz and Michael Weiss
Goertz and Weiss examine the impact of court-mandated school finance reform in New Jersey and describe the state’s new school funding formula, the School Finance Reform Act (SRFA) of 2008, and its potential impact.

Substantial and Yet Not Sufficient: Kentucky’s Effort to Build Proficiency for Each and Every Child (December 2009)

By Susan Perkins Weston and Robert F. Sexton

Weston and Sexton offer a brief account of Kentucky’s early judicial action and share recommendations about the place of timelines, outcomes, and inputs in a definition of success; the feasibility of relatively restrained judicial action with a vigorous legislative response; attention to the complexity of administering statutes once they are passed and the role of independent advocacy in maintaining each major initiative; and concern for sustaining and institutionalizing a system that can serve all students well.

Equal Opportunity and the Courts (February 2008)

By Michael A. Rebell
Rebell argues that the adequacy movement is “the only game in town” for advancing equal educational opportunity. The article defends the movement from critics’ charges that adequacy suits have not resulted in improvement in student performance and that the state courts have overstepped their constitutional boundaries.

Professional Rigor, Public Engagement and Judicial Review (October 2006)

By Michael A. Rebell
This article provides the first detailed analysis of judicial critiques of the state of the art of “costing-out” studies and recommends improvements to the current practice of costing out.

Adequacy Litigations: A New Path to Equity? (May 2005)

By Michael A. Rebell
This is the final chapter in Bringing Equity Back, arguing that adequacy litigation offers a new path towards equal opportunity and excellent education for all. Rebell maintains that adequacy lawsuits contain immense potential for achieving these principles, but only when combined with public and community engagement.

Poverty, “Meaningful” Educational Opportunity and the Necessary Role of the Courts (June 2003)

By Michael A. Rebell
This article argues for a “meaningful educational opportunity:” a comprehensive range of in-school and out-of-school services to children living in poverty. Rooted in federal equal-educational-opportunity laws and court decisions and in state education-adequacy cases, these reforms cannot be achieved without the courts.

Inequitable Equilibrium: School Finance in the United States (June 2003)

By Jeffrey Metzler
Examines the relationship between changes in school-finance systems for improving equity and the degree of equity achieved; uses voluminous data from all 50 states to determine measures of equity as the wealth neutrality score, targeting score, coefficient of variation, and McLloone index.

Building on Judicial Intervention: The Redesign of School Facilities Funding in Arizona (September 2003)

By Molly A. Hunter
Analyzes the Arizona litigations that challenged the education-finance system for facilities and other capital. Documents an iterative decision-making process that led to the enactment of a capital-funding system and discusses litigations that ask the courts to expand funding for English language learners and “at-risk” students.

Moving Mountains in the Granite State: Reforming School Finance and Defining Adequacy in New Hampshire (March 2001) 

By Drew Dunphy
Analyzes the Claremont decisions on school finance in New Hampshire and the sweeping change they have brought on taxation and educational adequacy. Examines the role of public engagement in the state and the difficulty of implementing reform principles that require a comprehensive public dialogue and change in political will.

Rapid Response, Radical Reform: The Story of School Finance Litigation in Vermont (October 2000)

By Michael A. Rebell and Jeffrey Metzler
Analyzes one of the most far-reaching fiscal-equity remedies in the nation; examines initiatives of legislature and rapid response to the state-court decision that established precedents for defining an adequate education; looks at backlash against funding reform and examines benefits of public engagement within school-funding conflict.

Trying to Bridge the Gaps: Ohio’s Search for an Education Finance Remedy (February 1999)

By Molly A. Hunter
Traces public-engagement work by statewide organizations, including an advocacy effort by Ohio business leaders; examines ongoing attempts to determine the actual costs of providing a “thorough and efficient” education.

Who’s in Control? The Courts, the Legislature and the Public in Colorado’s School Finance Debate (June 1999)

By Christina Burnett and Drew Dunphy
Analyzes the Arizona litigations that challenged the education-finance system for facilities and other capital. Documents an iterative decision-making process that led to the enactment of a capital-funding system and discusses litigations that ask the courts to expand funding for English language learners and “at-risk” students.

Fiscal Equity Litigation and the Democratic Imperative (January 1998)

By Michael A. Rebell
Examines plaintiff victories in fiscal-equity decisions since 1989 within the “democratic imperative,” a resurgent manifestation of the principles of American political culture that will no longer tolerate inadequate educational opportunities for disadvantaged children.

All Eyes Forward: Public Engagement and Fiscal Equity in Kentucky (April 1998)

By Molly A. Hunter
Traces fifteen years of advocacy and public engagement, whose activities have never been significantly documented, to help implement a court decision; provides a comprehensive overview of court orders and reform legislation.

Building Plans for Reform: Alabama’s School finance Litigation (July 1998)

By Jeffrey Scott Berman and Drew Dunphy
Examines advocates and plaintiff’s struggles to implement a sweeping court-ordered remedy; documents development of remedial plan and extensive campaign of public engagement.

Gambling on a Settlement: The Baltimore City Schools Adequacy Litigations (November 1998)

By Diane W. Cipollone
Discusses the Maryland adequacy litigations and education-finance system and the political developments that led to a major eve-of-trial settlement in the case; examines earlier court rulings and defense arguments.

Defining a “Basic Education”: Equity and Adequacy Litigation in the State of Washington (December 1998)

By Diane W. Cipollone
Charts on-going struggle to define a “basic education” in the state of Washington and efforts to determine the costs of providing such an education; details influence of public dialogue, describes shift among some state legislators to focus on standards reform.

Efficacy and Engagement: The Remedies Problem Posed by Sheff v. O’Neill–and a Proposed Solution (1997)

By Michael A. Rebell and Robert L. Hughes
Reprinted from The Connecticut Law Review. Analyzes problems of remedies in Connecticut’s de facto segregation/fiscal-equity suit; provides an overview of federal and state remedies in desegregation and fiscal-equity cases: proposes a new public-engagement-oriented remedy for Sheff and other statewide litigations.

Schools, Communities and the Courts: A Dialogic Approach to Education Reform (1996)

By Michael A. Rebell and Robert L. Hughes
Reprinted from The Yale Law and Policy Review. Reviews reform initiatives and judicial intervention in educational-policy disputes; argues that effective reform requires a revitalization of community involvement; provides and applies a dialogic method to controversies including sex education, special education and fiscal equity reforms.

For Each and Every Child (February 2013)

By The Equity and Excellence Commission
Through this report, the Equity and Excellence Commission provides advice to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education on the disparities in meaningful educational opportunities that give rise to the achievement gap, with a focus on systems of finance, and recommends ways in which federal policies could address such disparities.