1st Edition

Financing Public Schools
Theory, Policy, and Practice

ISBN 9780415645355
Published October 8, 2014 by Routledge
510 Pages

USD $99.95

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Book Description

Financing Public Schools moves beyond the basics of financing public elementary and secondary education to explore the historical, philosophical, and legal underpinnings of a viable public school system. Coverage includes the operational aspects of school finance, including issues regarding teacher salaries and pensions, budgeting for instructional programs, school transportation, and risk management. Diving deeper than other school finance books, the authors explore the political framework within which schools must function, discuss the privatization of education and its effects on public schools, offer perspectives regarding education as an investment in human capital, and expertly explain complex financial and economic issues. This comprehensive text provides the tools to apply the many and varied fiscal concepts and practices that are essential for aspiring public school administrators who aim to provide responsible stewardship for their students.

Special Features:

  • "Definitional Boxes" and "Key Terms" throughout chapters enhance understanding of difficult concepts.
  • Coverage of legal, political, and historical issues provides a broader context and more complex understanding of school finance.
  • Offers in-depth exploration of business management of financial resources, including fiscal accounting, school facilities, school transportation, financing with debt, and the nuances of school budgeting techniques.

Table of Contents


Ch 1: The Nature And Theory Of The Public School

Ch 2: Fundamental Rights And State School Finance Litigation

Ch 3: The System And Public Schools

Ch 4: Inequality Of Opportunity

Ch 5: Education As An Investment In Human Capital

Ch 6: The Politics Of School Finance

Ch 7: Fiscal Capacity And Tax Effort In The Funding Of Public Schools

Ch 8: Taxation For Public Schools

Ch 9: The Federal Role In Financing Education

Ch 10: Teacher Compensation

Ch 11: Public Funding Of Private Schools: Charter Schools And Vouchers

Ch 12: Education Production Functions: Whether Money Matters

Ch 13: Analyzing Equity And Adequacy Of State School Finance

Ch 14: State School Funding Methods

Ch 15: Financial Accounting

Ch 16: Financing School Facilities

Ch 17: School Budget Development And Administration

Ch 18: Risk Management, Student Transportation, And School Food Services

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Kern Alexander is Excellence Professor of Educational Administration at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA.

Richard G. Salmon is Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA.

F. King Alexander is Professor in the College of Human Sciences and Education, Louisiana State University (LSU), USA.


"As the U.S. struggles to regain its economic stability, we are well served by this important reminder of education's foundational role in securing our nation's strength and well-being. Money, indeed, matters and mirrors what we value. As the authors remind us, these values are all too often caught up in the struggle between self-preservation and the common good."

--Deborah Collins, Associate Director of The Leadership Alliance, Brown University

"Financing Public Schools is not a traditional school finance book. There is a great need for educators to understand the value of education as a public good and a necessary precursor to a vibrant democracy; this text goes well past taxation, budgeting, and finance formulae to include thoughtful analysis and discussion of the public value of education, modern policies, and state politics."

--Julie Underwood, Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis, and Dean, School of Education, University of Wisconsin - Madison