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Evolution in Authority Over U.S. Schools

This entry discusses the role of the three levels of government in the United States in influencing education policy and production. Essential to understanding any particular element of education policy, whether it be expenditures per pupil, productivity of the schools, teacher quality, accountability issues, or broader education reform, is a basic knowledge of the level of government in which decision making over these elements is concentrated. This entry describes the evolution of authority and responsibility for the provision and financing of K-12 schooling in the United States. The description illustrates that the initial concentration of control over education policy in local governments experienced at least two dramatic shifts toward state control during the 20th century. The most important change over the past 15 years has ...

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