The Future of Educational Financing

Topics: Supreme Court of the United States, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, United States Pages: 6 (4004 words) Published: October 29, 2014
The Future of Educational Financing Grand Canyon University EDA-535 September 30, 2014 What will the future of school funding look like in the next ten years This question troubles many communities and professionals in the field of Education. Over the past decade many new laws and ideas have changed the way schools are funded. More than ever before districts are finding themselves struggling to meet the financial needs of their communities and students. There are many issues one must consider to effectively predict the future of Educational Financing. Some of these issues are The analysis of the Lemon Test for determining alignment with the First Amendment The choice issue that has implications for diverting public funds to non-public schools The impact of No Child Left Behind The Future of church-state relations in regards to education Future trends in court decisions and power over educational financing based on present information The future of public education in America will depend deeply on the results of these issues. The future of educational finance is on the line. Will there be enough funds available to meet the needs of each public school system in our country Lemon Test The first amendment to the United States constitution has long prescribed a belief that any relationship between church and state was to be held unconstitutional, which implies that a similar relationship exists between government participation and private or religious based schools. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled a number of times on the legal relationship of church and state as intended by the amendments to the Constitution (Brimley, Verstegen, Garfield, 2012). One of the most influential court rulings began its journey in 1968 with the passing of a Pennsylvania State law. This law allowed the acting State Superintendent of Public Instruction to allocate state funds for non-public educational services. Although this act was affirmed in Pennsylvania state court, the sensitive nature of the ruling led many to believe that further court action would follow. This action came in the form of a United States Supreme Court case and ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971), declared the law to be in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments (Brimley, Verstegen, Garfield, 2012). This ruling became a strong precedent for future cases regarding the separation of church and state, and also established what is known as the Lemon Test. The Lemon decision has altered the landscape of legal thought regarding the role of religion in the public forum (Whitmore, 2007). The Lemon Test consists of three standards or prongs. These standards include, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose, its principle or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion, and the statute must not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion. If a government fails any of these three prongs, it is unconstitutional (Blackman, 2010). The standards set by the Lemon test are intended to ensure the alignment between government actions and the interpretation of the First Amendment, more specifically, the Establishment Clause. The Establishment Clause included in the First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law respecting any establishment of religion. While the Lemon test has set a legal precedent in many court cases, it has faced opposition. Opponents of the Lemon test feel that it, in many ways has been affected by past court decisions that may have altered the original foundation of the test itself. This opinion has been primarily formulated due to the ability of legislatures to present actions in a way that presumably side step the standards of the Lemon test. Justice Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 2005 questioned the viability of the Lemon test, and currently the law literature is replete with articles questioning its use (Brimley,...
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