Future of Educational Finance

Topics: School voucher, Private school, High school Pages: 6 (4094 words) Published: October 29, 2014

Future of Educational Finance
Grand Canyon University: EDA-535
October, 2013

Gary Marx stated “identifying, monitoring and considering the implications of trends is one of the most basic processes for creating the future” (Stevenson, 2010 p. 1). The world of education is forever changing at a pace that gets more rapid as the years go on. The decisions made in the past have laid the foundation of education today, as will recent changes affect the future. Programs such as choice schooling and No Child Left Behind will impact school funding. Rulings such as the Lemon Test and separation of church and state will impact decisions that can potentially result in litigation and court rulings dictating educational decisions. In his work regarding educational trends, Kenneth Stevenson (2010) stated, “a continuing recession, escalating political polarization, rising racial/ethnic tensions, a growing national debt, and a widening divide between the haves and the have nots portend a future fraught with unprecedented challenges to and clashes over the form and substance of public education in America” (p.1). Analysis of the Lemon Test

The Lemon Test was created by Chief Justice Warren Berger as a result of the court case Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) and is based on the principles stated in Everson v. Board of Education. The case of Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) centered on Rhode Island’s Salary Supplement Act. This act approved a salary supplement of up to fifteen percent for teachers who taught secular subjects in private religious schools or non-public elementary schools. The courts determined that approximately twenty-five percent of Rhode Island’s students attended non-public schools. Furthermore, ninety-five percent of the parochial schools were Roman Catholic. Pennsylvania offered a similar program that reimbursed non-public schools for expenses related to secular education and required schools to account for the expenses separately. Approximately twenty percent of Pennsylvania’s children attended non-public schools and ninety-six percent of the schools had a religious affiliation. The high courts looked at its own precedents and determined that, in order for a law to be in compliance with the Establishment clause it, “must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not foster "an excessive government entanglement with religion" (Barnes, 2010, p. 2-3). The Lemon test was created to, “determine when a law has the effect of establishing religion” (The Basics, 2014, p. 3). The court applied the Lemon test to the Pennsylvania and Rhode Island supplemental funding programs and deemed that the programs in both states were unconstitutional (The Lemon Test, 2009). Both programs met the first requirement of the Lemon test as they had a secular purpose. However, the court determined that it was unclear if the programs met the second set of criteria as “while the aid was intended for secular use, it was not entirely secular in effect” (The Lemon Test, 2009, p. 1). The court decided that it did not need to establish if the programs met the second part of the Lemon test as they failed to meet the third criterion as both programs “excessively entangling state administrators with the operations of parochial schools” (The Lemon Test, 2009, p. 1). The Lemon test has “become an extremely influential legal doctrine, governing not only cases involving government funding of religious institutions but also cases in which the government promoted religious messages. Over the years, however, many justices have criticized the test because the court has often applied it to require a strict separation between church and state” (The Lemon Test, 2009, p. 1).

The test has been the foundation for many of the court’s ruling regarding the establishment clause since 1971. The "choice"
The idea of vouchers for education was first introduced...

References: A Nation At Risk: The Imperative For Educational Reform (1983).
Ladd, H. 2001. “School-Based Educational Accountability Systems: The Promise and Pitfalls.”
National Tax Journal 54 (2): 385-400.
Leachman, Michael and Mai, Chris (2014). Most states funding school less than before the recession. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. May 2014.
Meyer, L., G. Orlofsky, R. Skinner, and S. Spicer. 2002. “The State of the States.” Quality Counts 2001. January 10..
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