Never a Lost Cause: Evaluating School Finance Litigation in the Face of Continuing Education Inequality in Post-Rodriguez America

This Note considers the future of school finance litigation. Specifically, the Note argues that school finance litigation should be pursued and can achieve success because education inequality is a civil rights violation. The Note begins by describing the education in-equality crisis and detailing the history of failed education litigation. Drawing on this background, the Note argues that education in-equality is an equal protection violation and then reconciles this conclusion with the outcomes of previous cases, including the watershed Rodriguez case. The education crisis requires a judicial solution because the legislature cannot or will not accomplish the necessary complete overhaul of the school finance system. Thus, the Note concludes that the best way to remedy the education crisis is to bring equal protection claims in both state and federal courts on the basis of wealth, with poor children established as a suspect class. Furthermore, the Note recommends that litigation be accompanied by concrete proposals for reform, as a plaintiff victory alone will not produce change.

The full text of this Note is available to download as a PDF.