Equity and Adequacy Definitions and Measures

An important element of both court challenges and legislative efforts to enact school finance policy is to meet standards of both school finance equity and adequacy.  School finance equity addresses the degree to which dollars per pupil vary across districts for any reasons, as well as the degree to which differences in dollars per pupil are linked to local measures of fiscal capacity.

As noted above, school finance adequacy addresses the issue of whether the funding level is high enough to allow every school to provide every student an equal opportunity to achieve to state proficiency standards, which today in nearly all states are college and career ready standards Chapter 3 of the fifth edition of our text book, Allan Odden and Lawrence O. Picus, School Finance: A Policy Perspective, New York: McGraw Hill (2014) provides various definitions of school finance equity and adequacy, as well as ways to measure the degree to which state school finance policies and programs meet equity and adequacy standards.

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