For well over three decades, the concepts of equity and efficiency have been used by policy analysts and elected officials to frame the debate about the formulation and evaluation of public policies and programs. In this paper we use these ideas to organize an historical analysis of policies and research strategies in K‐12 education finance from the 1960s through the 1990s. In each decade we stress the dominant themes, major events, and research strategies regarding equity and efficiency, knowing that themes and research strategies span many decades but are sometimes in the foreground and other times in the background. We conclude with an assessment of how these two concepts can be compatible and how current policies are increasingly “win‐win” ones that are proposed to make progress on both goals.
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