The uncertainty of policy ambition: An analysis of key state actor perspectives on seeking equity through facilities funding Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • © 2016, University of Illinois Press. All rights reserved. The purpose of the study was to broaden awareness of legislative intentions associated with a State’s facilities funding policy (Texas’ Instructional Facilities Allotment, IFA). Recognizing the politically contested nature of school funding, arguments in support and against investing in facilities appear equally replete. Be that as it may, some research indicates a link between students’ learning environment and the quality of education (Bowers and Burkett 1987; Cash 1993; Earthman and Lemasters 1998; Schneider 2002). A qualitative method was employed to gather insights and perspectives from key personnel having considerable knowledge about the drafting of the legislation. Interviews were conducted with state-level officials, leaders, and legislators, as well as those affiliated with the litigation that partly sparked its passage. Participant responses yielded two overarching themes concerning the legislative intents of the IFA: (1) the IFA had to be legally defensible; and (2) the IFA had to be socially responsible. The findings suggest legislators aimed to keep the state out of court or have a policy that would be considered constitutional should facilities funding be challenged again through litigation. In addition, respondents reported there appeared to be a general desire among legislators to act in a manner satisfying both moral responsibility and political obligation.

author list (cited authors)

  • Core, B. H., & Torres, M. S.

publication date

  • March 2016