Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

Stephen D. Sugarman on Jack Coons and Educational Finance Reform

Sugarman, Stephen D.
Meeker, Martin
Stephen D. Sugarman on Jack Coons and Educational Finance Reform
Stephen Sugaman was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Northwestern for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. After working in a private law practice, Sugarman was recruited to the faculty of Boalt Hall, where he continues to teach today. Sugarman met Jack Coons when Coons was a young professor at Northwestern and Sugarman was in the process of deciding on what law school to attend. Although Sugarman was admitted to Harvard, he chose Northwestern based in part on the climate and opportunities represented by productive scholars like Coons. They worked together on several research projects and eventually jointly authored several influential studies on educational finance reform, including: Private Wealth and Public Education (1970) and Education by Choice: The Case for Family Control (1978). In these two interviews, Coons and Sugarman discuss their education, their years at Northwestern Law School and their introduction to the system by which schools are financed and the subsequent development of ideas for reforming that system. They also tell of their role in several important legal cases pertaining to school financing, including Serrano v. Priest (1971) and San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez (1973), and their shared interest in creating a system for providing parents with vouchers to send their children to a school of their choice.
Subject area(s):
Education and University of California
Politics, Law, and Policy
Interview date(s):
Education and University of California - Individual Interviews
Sugarman, Stephen D. "Stephen D. Sugarman on Jack Coons and Educational Finance Reform." Interview by Martin Meeker in 2016. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2016.