A False Dilemma: Should Decisions About Education Resource Use Be Made at the State or Local Level?

April 2008

The paper begins by describing both the research and the evolution of California's now largely state-controlled funding system in the context of four dimensions: equity, effectiveness, accountability and efficiency. In each dimension the authors explain how evidence can be used to refute arguments both for and against state control of resources.

The authors rely on published research to explain their viewpoint that the core problem for state policymakers is how better to connect real dollars with relevant resources. They offer suggestions for California state policymakers on improving the state education finance system.

This is one in a series of ten papers and policy briefs prepared through a collaboration between the California Department of Education and the University of California organized by the UC Davis School of Education Center for Applied Policy in Education.

A version of the report was published in the American Journal of Education 116, May 2010.

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