After summarizing the philosophy behind the financing of public schools, this document reviews the division of legal responsibility for education between the state and federal governments; outlines the state's responsibility for providing an equal educational opportunity for its residents; and summarizes the use of federal revenues, state revenues, and local tax revenues, with emphasis on property taxes, to fund public education. Current and recent issues surrounding the equity of school finance formulas are described, including taxpayer equity, the taxpayer's ability to pay, and horizontal and vertical equity. Following a brief history of school finance plans, an overview of three methods used to allocate funds is provided.
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