Campaign 2010

Jun 07, 2004

Not What Bush Had in Mind

Poor Schools Sue for Funding Washington Post - June 7, 2004


Giant poster boards filled with data from standardized tests dominate the courtroom where attorneys for some of the poorest school districts in South Carolina are suing the state legislature for billions of dollars in education funds.


...The scene in the South Carolina courtroom has become common across the United States as lawyers use data generated by the drive for higher standards in education as the basis for class-action lawsuits seeking more funding for poorer school districts. According to experts who track the lawsuits, half the states in the country are now involved in litigation over education funding.

Similar lawsuits arguing for education equity between rich and poor districts were filed frequently in the 1980s. The more recent lawsuits, which seek sufficient funding for poor districts rather than parity with affluent ones, have been fueled, in part, by the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind initiative, which is designed to make every child in the country proficient in math and reading by 2014. Many poor school districts that fail to meet the targets established by the law have gone to court to argue that they lack the resources to compete with their richer neighbors.


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