The Mirage of Local Control



The powers of local school boards have eroded as the state and federal governments have assumed increasing authority over school districts. The state role grew as states took on a greater portion of the funding for public schools. Federal influence far exceeds the modest level of backing, 8.3 percent, that the U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2009. The federal government sought to enlarge its role by setting out under President Obama to allocate, over a two-year period, more than $115 billion in stimulus funds for elementary, secondary, and higher education. The administration appeared poised to use money as a lever to produce changes out of all proportion to the small share of federal support.


Public School Federal Government School District School Board State Board 
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© Gene I. Maeroff 2010

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