Serrano v. Priest - Definition & Meaning

Serrano v. Priest is a landmark legal case in California that had a profound impact on educational equity and funding in the state. The case was filed in 1968 by the Serrano family, challenging the constitutionality of California's school finance system, which relied heavily on local property taxes to fund education.

The central issue in Serrano v. Priest was the vast disparity in funding between affluent and economically disadvantaged school districts, leading to significant disparities in educational resources and opportunities.

The California Supreme Court's decision in 1971 ruled that the state's system of financing public education was unconstitutional because it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the state's constitution. The decision mandated that the state must provide equal funding for all students, regardless of their geographic location.

Serrano v. Priest marked a significant shift in educational finance policy in California, leading to reforms aimed at reducing funding inequalities and improving educational opportunities for all students.

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