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For Better or For Worse? School Finance Reform in California

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Abstract:

Beginning in the 1970s, school finance in California was transformed from a local to a state system. Has this transformation been good for California? For Better or For Worse? School Finance Reform in California traces the origins of school finance reform and assesses its chief consequences. Concluding that this reform did not achieve most of its original goals, the authors attribute this failure to two factors: the reformers’ imperfect understanding of the inequities under local finance and the effects of Proposition 13.