Alexandra Greif


New Jersey first became embroiled in school finance litigation in 1973, when the New Jersey Supreme Court declared in Robinson v. Cahill that the state's funding statute violated the "thorough and efficient" education clause of the state constitution. After twenty-five years, ten additional New Jersey Supreme Court opinions, and three major legislative overhauls, the New Jersey Supreme Court was faced with an education system that displayed little, if any, improvement. Frustrated with the recalcitrance of the New Jersey Legislature, the court issued its decision in Abbott v. Burke V. An extreme example of a national trend in which courts were more willing to define remedies and provide concrete requirements for educational reform, the Abbott V mandate set out an ambitious reform plan, requiring districts to institute half-day preschool, improve classroom facilities, provide supplemental programs to compensate for comparative disadvantage, and restructure elementary school curricula.

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