Rodriguez and DeNardis: Can Allocation by Sortition Resolve the Connecticut Education-Financing Impasse?

A new paper about lotteries in education mentions some familiar names.

Abstract: It has been over 40 years since Connecticut amended its Constitution to ensure citizens a right to a free public education. Despite the constitutionally prescribed right, dramatic inequities in educational conditions continued to characterize the state’s K-12 educational system, especially between suburban/rural white and urban minority school districts. In the 1970s plaintiffs challenged the prevailing mechanism for allocating education funds with a host of court cases that tackled the thorny question of how much financial responsibility the state should assume to equalize the spending disparities between school districts. Prodded by court decisions, many formulas and approaches have been proposed by the Connecticut General Assembly in response to the various legal challenges yet the state has never fully funded the cost sharing formula nor lived up to the 50-50 cost sharing arrangement envisaged by some policymakers. The situation remains at an impasse with the latest court action, CCJEF v. Rell (2005), to be resolved no sooner than 2014 by most accounts.
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Sortition in popular movements? Modern kleroterion?

I’ve been thinking recently that one promising venue for experimenting with sortition might be popular movements such as Occupy here in the US, or the indignados in Spain. These are venues where people are unusually open to learning about, and even trying, new ways to organize society. Also, from what I know of here in San Francisco, the Occupy folks are trying to make most of their decisions in large “general assemblies,” which is very cumbersome, so I suspect that some of them would be very interested in ideas like sortition.

Does anybody here know of examples of sortition being used in popular movements, or have ideas about how it could work?

Also, does anyone know of a contemporary, technologically-assisted, affordable, user-friendly equivalent to the kleroterion that could be used in popular movements? I’m imagining something analogous to big meetings I’ve seen where all the attendees have hand-held devices that enable them to vote and then have the votes instantly tallied on a computer. I imagine that having a technology like that might make an experiment with sortition more desirable and feasible.