during that year were a result of resultant public opposition (Corcoran and Scovronick, 1995).
In addition, general lack of trust in state and local government's use of education funds permeates the politics of school finance today. Many taxpayers have watched their state taxes increase to pay for better education while simultaneously hearing media reports of the decline of the American education system. Increases in education spending have coincided with increases in violence, guns, and drugs in schools. Similarly, Eric Hanushek's studies (1986, 1991, 1996) in which he detected no correlation between the amount of resources invested in education and student achievement received increased attention in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Hanushek and others have pointed to the fact that as per-pupil education expenditures have steadily risen over the past 30 years, average SAT scores have steadily declined (Picus, 1997:35). Of course many factors account for test score stagnation, and recent analyses of educational spending, such as those by Hedges et al. (1994), have questioned Hanushek's econometric techniques and the resulting claim that money does not matter in education. Ferguson and Ladd (1996) used a different econometric model and found a positive correlation between additional resources and student outcomes. Others have used different measures of student outcomes (such as dropout rates and postgraduation wages) and found a positive relationship between spending and increased outcomes (Murray, 1995; Card and Krueger, 1992).
Studies are now underway to identify which types of investments are most likely to improve student outcomes. For example, Krueger (1997) and Monk (1994) conducted studies which demonstrate the importance of teacher education, small class size, and teacher knowledge, respectively, on student outcomes. Despite these other studies, Hanushek's observation of upward trends in spending and downward trends in test scores is enough to raise many questions in the minds of voters about the effectiveness and necessity of increased resources for education.
Few voters have any real understanding of how their education tax dollars are being spent. They often do not appreciate the increased costs of education in the 1990s with higher enrollments, more regulations, and special programs. Each of these trends, especially the increasing enrollments in special education, has significant effects on the distribution of resources and educational opportunity within a state that are generally not sufficiently explained to the public.
Less political will exists to reform school finance systems than there was in the 1970s, especially in states that have had extensive school finance litigation and have enacted multiple remedies. Many people feel that the state has made enough of an effort to equalize school funding and that a lack of results is more a reflection of mismanagement of resources or proof that money does not matter in education than a reflection of incomplete or ineffective state policies. They claim that it makes no sense to invest more money in poorer districts until the local mismanagement problems are solved. In a number of states, these sentiments are