Creating the Political Conditions for Major Changes in School Finance Policy

March 2007

In this working paper, Lorraine McDonnell asks whether significant changes in public education finance are politically feasible. Though acknowledging that some public policy changes are more viable than others, she insists that alternative systems, especially those that credibly promise higher performance, are possible. As McDonnell concludes:

"The political conditions for major policy change are relatively straightforward: an engaging and feasible idea framed as a solution to a pressing problem, skilled policy entrepreneurs willing to invest resources in advancing that idea, interests dissatisfied with the status quo able to be mobilized, weak or neutralized opposition, multiple points of access into decisionmaking arenas, administrative institutions vulnerable to change, and sufficient time for agenda-setting and change processes to work."

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