Concern for the quality of education in the United States has recently returned to the forefront of public attention. The contributing authors to this volume provide a realistic picture of the status of educational quality and finance systems in the United States. The current budgetary restraints and the policy changes needed to improve the quality of American education are central to their contributions.In his introduction, John Augenblick outlines central issues of budgeting and financial management in elementary and secondary education. Michael W. Kirst describes the tensions and choices to be faced by comprehensive high schools, and offers a framework for viewing change in high schools. His work points to a new agenda for major policy change at the state and local levels of government. Michael. Murphy examines the evidence on teacher collective bargaining over the past twenty years and draws conclusions about its impact on school management and governance.Charles S. Benson considers the objectives of state governments in assisting local school districts and the major fiscal devices used to achieve educational finance consistent with those objectives. Guilbert C. Hentschke explores the implications of the changing role of school district administrators. Richard R. Valencia examines the financial and social implications of public school closures: Do they actually result in substantial cost savings? Are they discriminatory? Do they erode public support for'education?Steven D. Gold focuses on the trends in the state's share of local school costs and the major factors affecting future aid trends. When considered in greater detail, state aid issues take on increased meaning as Richard H. Goodman explores the adequacy of the support provided by states to local school districts or to local governments in view of the trends discussed by Gold. And finally, Henry M. Levin details the cost and cost-effectiveness of the use of microcomputers for computer-assisted instruction.