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The Fight for Local ControlSchools, Suburbs, and American Democracy$
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Campbell F. Scribner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700804

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700804.001.0001

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The Fight for Funding

The Fight for Funding

(p.94) 5 The Fight for Funding
The Fight for Local Control

Campbell F. Scribner

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how state support for education expanded greatly but not steadily over the course of the twentieth century. In fits and starts, legislatures increased subsidies to local school districts, trying to modernize public education with new buildings and textbooks, better teachers, and wider course offerings. Complicating the process, however, were underlying questions about the purpose and structure of state aid. In school finance, minimums were first codified in statutory tax rates during the nineteenth century, which established a floor for local support but proved unequal to the task of modernizing and equalizing school facilities. By the mid-twentieth century, most states had implemented foundational aid to supplement local revenues, but again limited their support to insufficient levels of adequacy.

Keywords:   local school districts, public education, state aid, school finance, statutory tax

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