California, Serrano, & Prop 13: Cowabunga

April 2015

California is often thought of as a liberal bastion in the US, but the inner workings of the state reveal a far more complicated policy story. This is, perhaps, most true when looking at public education expenditures and funding in the state, and the complicated relationship between state and local governments. Between the first two Serrano cases1, Proposition 13, and economic turmoil over the years, California has been a hotbed for issues involving local choice, vertical and horizontal imbalances, property taxes, equity, and educational quality. This paper will examine these aforementioned topics, as well as the Local Control Funding Formula that will be implemented in the coming years and its potential impact on educational funding and outcomes in the state.