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School Finance Litigation and Beyond

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The United States 2006 Discretionary Budget Authority amount is $56.0 billion, which represents a 1% decrease from 2005. The Budget has come under some criticism for this decrease as some feel that cuts, if necessary at all, could be obtained in areas other than education. But perhaps more relevant is how this money is distributed, and what use it is put to. Experts say that it is schools with the best partners (with roles of supplying educational requirements), and with the highest level of parental involvement, that get the best results, as well as an environment where regular communication can be had (Nieto, 2003).

The United States 2006 Discretionary Budget Authority amount is $56.0 billion, which represents a 1% decrease from 2005. The Budget has come under some criticism for this decrease as some feel that cuts, if necessary at all, could be obtained in areas other than education. But perhaps more relevant is how this money is distributed, and what use it is put to. Experts say that it is schools with the best partners (with roles of supplying educational requirements), and with the highest level of parental involvement, that get the best results, as well as an environment where regular communication can be had (Nieto, 2003).

According to Nieto (2003), school funding and academic achievement are related. Such funding can indirectly be the factor which facilitates allowing the learner to go on to study further in institutions such as colleges and universities. Funding also allows the many educational opportunities available to the learner (Great Britain Parliament, 2004/2005). Schools which receive more funding than others are at an advantage.   This is the concept behind inundating schools today.

In 1999, Kevin Payne and Bruce Biddle wrote an article for The Educational Researcher concerning the effects of poor school funding, child poverty, and achievement.   In it, they state that school funding across America is very inconsistent, with schools in some states receiving more than $15,000 per year per student, and some schools in other states receiving only $3,000 per student per year. It would be logical to conclude that the schools receiving a greater amount of funding should show better results, but according to the article, this is not the case (Payne & Biddle, 1999).   A positive association was found, however, between school funding and student achievement in the studies of Lance (2001), Miller (2002), Siminitus (2002), and Whitington (2002).

This study will, therefore, look into the association of these variables, applying the situation to Ohio public schools. What follows is the framework.

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