EDTHP 4 - Chapter 9:Financing and Governing America's...

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Chapter 9:Financing and Governing America's Schools The Property Tax "Follow the money." - Deep Throat Unlike many other nations, we have a very decentralized system for funding schools. The federal government is responsible for just 6 to 8 percent of the total of school funding. Since wealth was once measured by the size of people's farms, a property tax was used to raise money for schools. Property tax- Local real estate taxes (also cars and personal property) historically used to fund local schools Municipal overburden- a phenomenon in which urban areas struggle the most to fund schools from property tax, suffering not only from lower property values, but also the need to use those limited resources to fund more police officers, hospitals and etc. than their suburban counterparts Reforming Education Finance San Antonio vs. Rodriguez (1973) - the Supreme Course ruled against Rodriguez declaring that education was not a "fundamental right" under the U.S Constitution and that preserving local control was a legitimate reason to use the property tax system. Rodriguez argued that using property tax to fund schools was unconstitutional because it violates the Constitutions guarantee for equal protection under the law (each student had a right to the same amount of money going into their education) Serrano v. Priest (1971) - the California Supreme Court struck down the state's financing system as unconstitutional The court declared that education was a fundamental right under the California Constitution and that the property tax system violated equal protection of that right. "…makes the quality if a child's education a function of the wealth of his parents and neighbors…Districts with small tax bases simply cannot levy taxes at a rate sufficient to produce the revenue that more affluent districts produce with a minimum effort." Robin Hood reformers- they won a victory as they took funds from
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