School Law Links
Finance and School Choice Issues
Serrano v. Priest (1971) California
Fiscal Neutrality - Education based on the
“wealth” of the state not on the district
State has the ultimate responsibility for financing
States can provide more rights for citizens, but can’t
take rights away
Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez (1973) U.S.
Opposite of Serrano v. Priest
Initiated by Mexican-American parents who are poor and
reside in school districts having a low property tax base.
Court held funding of public schools are matters reserved
for the state legislation and enforced by state courts.
Rose v. Council for Better Education (1989) Kentucky
Ordered school finance reform
Large variances in taxable property per student in the
Under-funding was confirmed by the poor ranking of
Kentucky students nationally
Court found entire education funding system was
unconstitutional and concluded state legislature provide adequate funding
v. Simmons-Harris (2002) U.S.
Opened door for voucher movement
Vouchers do not violate the Establishment Clause
The Ohio case is neutral with respect to religion