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A gavel laying on white marble

Each year, the Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations supports the publication of two issues of the BYU Education and Law Journal, highlighting relevant academic manuscripts focused on education and law. The second issue of Volume 2021 will be published in January 2022 and is a special edition celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the landmark school finance lawsuit, Serrano v. Priest, which was adjudicated in 1971.

This special issue will delve into the history of the case, in which the California Supreme Court determined that public education is a fundamental right within the state. The Court ruled that the educational funding formula at the time, which relied primarily on local property taxes, was unconstitutional, as it created a suspect class of students who were denied access to education for capricious reasons.

The issue will capture the voices of integral players in the development and decision of the case, as well as explore the impact of the case on the future of school funding litigation.

One of the pieces, authored by Sid Wolinsky, provides a personal commentary on his role as the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the Serrano case. The article offers historical context by describing and critiquing some of the most important strategies and objectives involved in the original Serrano litigation.

Another analysis, written by David Knight and Nail Hassairi of the University of Washington, discusses how student segregation continues to influence funding disparities in California 50 years after the Serrano ruling.

Through the contributions of these authors and others, including Jack Coons, Bill Fischel (Dartmouth College), Michael Rebell (Columbia University), Christine Kiracofe (Purdue University) and Spencer C. Weiler (Brigham Young University), the second issue of Volume 2021 will encapsulate the fascinating history, impact, and future of school funding litigation.

Find the journal’s publications here.

Writer: Alysha Rummler