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Horizontal Equity

The term horizontal equity is defined as an “equal treatment of equals.” In the school finance context, this typically refers to the distribution of expenditures for public education. Perfect equity exists only when every individual in a distribution receives equal treatment. In other words, school districts with similar characteristics (e.g., size, wealth) should have similar funding levels. This entry describes the origins and evolution of horizontal equity as a conceptual and methodological tool applied to school finance. It discusses horizontal equity in public education funding at the state, district, and school levels and outlines the limitations of horizontal equity.

Origins of Horizontal Equity

Horizontal equity as a concept in education economics and finance began to develop in 1978 with two manuscripts published by Robert Berne and ...

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