Theses Doctoral

Predicting the Results of School Finance Adequacy Lawsuits

Lynn, Zachary

All but one state constitution contains an adequacy clause, which holds the state to some minimum standard of education that must be provided. Typically, when citizens allege that a state is violating its constitutional duty to provide an adequate education, the dispute winds up in the courts. This study attempted to identify what, if any, political or institutional factors led to plaintiffs' victory in an adequacy lawsuit, and also examined whether there was any strategy behind the order in which states experienced an adequacy lawsuit. Qualitative Comparative Analysis, a method deisgned to allow for structured comparison in small- and medium-n studies by identifying necessary conditions, was employed to test political and institutional hypotheses. Analysis revealed that there were no conditions (or combinaitons of conditions) that were necessary and sufficient for plaintiffs' victory across cases. The implications for this fidning are expolored, with attention paid to the possibility that either methodological or theoretical issues account for the finding.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Politics and Education
Thesis Advisors
Henig, Jeffrey
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 28, 2011