In this Article, I want to raise the question of whether the framing of the education funding debate primarily as an issue of equality is either necessary or optimally effective. In particular, I will contrast the rhetoric of equality with an alternative rhetoric that focuses on the adequacy or the quality of the services provided, and I will consider the comparative virtues of these two frameworks for addressing the failings of our public education financing systems. While both frameworks have their strengths and weaknesses, I want to suggest that, on both conceptual and pragmatic grounds, the rhetoric of adequacy shows greater promise than the rhetoric of equality for overcoming the significant legal and political hurdles confronting challenges to existing systems for financing public education.
Vanderbilt Law School
Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 100-194, January 1995.