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Robinson v. Cahill (1973) is the name of the initial dispute in the long-running school finance litigation from New Jersey. Robinson stands out not only because it lasted so long but also because it exemplifies the kind of analysis that arises in disputes over funding for public education.

The Initial Ruling

After the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene in Robinson (1975) for the first time, the Supreme Court of New Jersey found that the state's system of school finance violated the state's education clause pertaining to the provision of a thorough and efficient system of education. According to the court, the “thorough and efficient” clause gave the state the ultimate responsibility to ensure that students receive a thorough and efficient education. Further, the Court ruled that ...

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