Fairness and Equity • Fairness requires treating all people alike; however, fairness can be inequitable. • Equity requires that unequals must be treated unequally in order to achieve true equality of opportunity.
Equity vs. Equality • Equity extends beyond equality. • Equality - treating people equally in order to achieve fairness. • Equity - treating unequals unequally in order to achieve fairness. • Equity thus involves recognizing pre-existing differences between people and attempting to reduce those differences.
Horizontal and Vertical Equity • Horizontal equity • Equal treatment of equals • Equity within/ among groups (i.e., within the school district) • Vertical equity • Unequal treatment of unequals • Equity between groups (i.e., between basic and special education students)
Horizontal and Vertical Equity • Horizontal Equity: equal treatment of equal students; funding students across the state at the same level. • Vertical Equity: unequal treatment of unequal students; providing equal funding within different groups of students (i.e.., special education)
Goals of Education Finance 1. Ensuring equal educational facilities to every child in the state. 2. Providing for uniform tax effort across the state. 3. Ensuring that the tax effort is related to the ability to pay. 4. In no way hindering the ability of local districts to raise funds above the minimal level.
Local “Ability to Pay” • The required local tax effort is determined by a number of factors, including property valuation, income, and sales tax measures. • Important factors include the district’s wealth (ability to pay) and the level of tax effort that local taxpayers agree to support.
Adequacy • The concept that the state should provide students with an educational experience that will give them sufficient skills to become successful citizens in modern society. • The concept of adequacy is very difficult to operationalize: how do we define what is adequate?
Measures of Local WealthAssessed Property Valuation Only • Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Academic Accountability andFinancial Rewards • Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas • ($ Financial Sanctions = North Dakota
The Struggle for Equality • Brown v. Board of Education (1954): the Court ruled that education must be provided equally. • Elwood Cubberly (1905) - wrote the first public school finance dissertation in the U.S. at Columbia Teacher’s College. • Revealed that wealthy communities had better schools than poorer communities. Cubberly is considered the founder of educational finance as a discipline.
Taxes • Federal government: Income tax • The most equitable tax (progressive) • State government: Sales tax • Fair but inequitable (regressive) • Local government: Property tax • A tax on accumulated wealth • These three types of taxes combined ensure that nobody is able to entirely avoid taxes.
Power Equalizing • Recapture plans: redistribute dollars from wealthy districts to poorer districts