October 2008
In This Issue

Education Justice supports advocates, policymakers, attorneys and others, in states across the nation, who are working to strengthen and improve public schools and close opportunity gaps, especially for low-income and minority schoolchildren.



A symposium in May at ETS in Princeton focused on ways to design and implement K-12 school finance systems to ensure that education resources are used to increase student achievement overall and close persistent achievement gaps. The latest issue of Policy Notes from ETS's Policy Information Center highlights the observations and conclusions of the various panels of national education and policy experts and analysts who presented at the symposium.
Trial in South Dakota's education finance case concluded on September 30th. Defense expert Dr. Eric Hanushek testified that state schools should not be required to include a pre-kindergarten program for low-income children, contradicting his previous position as a member of the California Governor's Committee on Education Excellence.
In the past few months, there have been notable developments in school finance and quality education litigation in states across the U.S., including Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, and South Dakota.
Representative Mike Honda (D-Calif.) has introduced H.R. 7203, “The Citizens' Commission on Educational Equity Act of 2008,” proposing a new federal role in creating equal educational opportunities for all children. The proposed commission would study ways in which the federal government can help states create an opportunity for every child, regardless of circumstances, to achieve “maximum educational potential,” and ensure schools receive adequate resources and equitable funding.
In these final days of the 2008 presidential campaign, many Americans are looking to their candidate of choice to bring about changes in federal education policy, “fix” No Child Left Behind, and take action to reform the way American public schools are funded. One organization leading the fight for effective policy changes is the Forum for Education and Democracy.
Last Spring, the Forum released Democracy at Risk: The Need for a New Federal Policy in Education, criticizing current federal policy as “inconsistent and shortsighted,” and providing a “a road map for federal policy” to guide the next administration towards helping states improve teaching and reduce equity and achievement gaps.
November 17-18, 2008 Campaign for Educational Equity's 2008 Equity Symposium, Comprehensive Educational Equity: Overcoming the Socioeconomic Barriers to School Success, at Teachers College, New York City.
November 20, 2008 Pennsylvania Education Finance Symposium, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Education Justice Director Molly Hunter will be speaking at this symposium.
December 4, 2008 Oral argument in Bonner v. Daniels is scheduled before the Supreme Court of Indiana, at 9:00 a.m.
Send announcements of upcoming events for the Education Justice calendar to: info@educationjustice.org

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.


Email: edjustice@edlawcenter.org

Phone: (973) 624-1815

Web: http://www.startingat3.org/state_laws/
State-by-state information on school funding litigation, past and pending, can be found at this web page.

If you wish to change your email address, or if this newsletter was forwarded to you by a friend and you would like to join our mailing list directly, please send your request to edjustice@edlawcenter.org