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School funding litigation a study of the Alabama cases /

by 1954- Wilson, Carlton

Abstract (Summary)
This study examined the decisions of the Alabama Judiciary concerning public school funding litigation, with a review of major state and federal high court decisions since Serrano v. Priest. The Alabama Public School Equity Funding Case began in 1990 with the organization of the Alabama Coalition for Equity (ACE), which was composed of 25 school districts and a number of individual parents and school children. ACE filed a lawsuit in the Montgomery Circuit Court challenging the constitutionality of the method by which Alabama funded public education. The plaintiffs claimed that the funding method violated the equal protection laws guaranteed the Alabama Constitution of 1901 and the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Joining the ACE plaintiffs were the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program and the American Civil Liberties Union. The lawsuit asked the court to nullify Amendment 111 of the Alabama Constitution, which was added in 1956 allegedly in reaction to the 1954 desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education. This case was in the court system more than 12 years, outlasting four governors, three trial court judges, seven supreme court justices. Costing-Out plans were reviewed as a method of funding public education. Alabama developed a court ordered costing-out plan; however, before the plan was approved by the lower court, the high court dismissed the case. Based on a review of the relevant caws law and scholarly commentary, this study found that 1) after the development of a plan that would possibly rectify the inadequacies of public education in the State of Alabama, the high court dismissed the case, and the state legislature chose not to implement the plan; 2) during the life of the Equity Funding Case, the Alabama Supreme Court reversed several of its own decisions in addition to rehearing the case after the time limits had expired; 3) many argue that the contested Amendment 111 was born out of a racist disregard for the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. As a result of Amendment 111, the children of the State of Alabama do not have a right to a public education.
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School:The University of Georgia

School Location:USA - Georgia

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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