Dr. Harriet Gould

The history of Nebraska public school finance law: 1854-1997
School: 
The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Degree: 
EdD
Date/Year: 
1998
Adviser: 
Grady, Marilyn
Pages: 
576
Abstract: 

Methods of financing public schools differed in each state in America. There was no mention of education in the United States Constitution. Thus, fifty unique models for funding public education existed. In Nebraska, the Constitution of 1875 and current law defined the state's intent for funding public schools. The purpose for conducting this historical study was to develop a history of public school finance law in Nebraska from 1854 to 1997. Emerging themes and patterns were identified. The research further questioned how K--12 public education funding evolved, what major laws and policies were instituted and in what manner and by what means finance laws changed. The Session Laws of Nebraska served as primary source material for this study. The school finance laws were identified, interpreted and coded by legislative biennium. Introductions to each decade placed the era in historical context. Decade summaries highlighted emerging themes, patterns, major events and leaders. A comprehensive appendix included Nebraska governors, legislative leaders, educational leaders, school finance data, constitutional amendments and public school demographics. A brief chronology of Nebraska's major school finance laws and events also appeared in the appendix. The funding of Nebraska schools has been problematic. The study concluded with the identification of nine patterns or themes. By reconstructing the past, insight and understanding about future funding alternatives was gained.

 
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