Tico A. Almeida


Over the past three decades of school finance litigation, attorneys have focused their lawsuits on the needs of particular types of school districts rather than particular types of children. Lawyers have based their legal complaints on the funding disparities between high-wealth and low-wealth districts rather than differences in needed resources between individual students from privileged and at-risk backgrounds. However, addressing district-to-district inequities might not improve educational opportunities for all students whose socioeconomic background places them at risk of academic failure. Indeed, the United States Supreme Court raised this very concern in its landmark school finance decision San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez. The Court noted that "the poorest families are not invariably clustered in the most impecunious school districts.' Decades later, some legal scholars argue that the school finance movement continues either to ignore or inadvertently miss the goal of improving education for all at-risk children. Indeed, very few school finance cases have asked courts to target remedies toward immigrant, minority, and poor children across an entire state instead of children in particular low-wealth school districts.

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