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We examine how district administrators’ conceptions of equity relate to the implementation of finance reform. We use sensemaking theory and four views of equity—libertarian, liberal, democratic liberal, and transformative—to guide a case study of two districts, finding evidence of two conceptions of equity: (1) greater resources for students with greater needs and (2) equal distribution of resources for all students. One district demonstrated an organization-wide belief in the first conception, whereas the other conveyed individual-level understandings of both conceptions. These beliefs were mirrored in resource allocation decisions and informed by districts’ student demographics, organizational identities, and perceptions of adequacy.


This article was originally published in American Journal of Education , volume 125, issue 2, in 2019. DOI: 10.1086/701247

Peer Reviewed



University of Chicago Press



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