Sunday, January 02, 2005


"School districts have discovered that the judiciary leans sympathetic toward their cries of unfunded mandates. Many have sought court rulings to require acting legislative bodies to dispense with what has been determined by “educrats” as a sufficient dispensation of money to produce a quality education, with varying degrees of success or failure. That the judiciary branch of government has found a means to disregard their clearly defined role is something that should be addressed by those in power. One only needs to contemplate the damage that can be done by egotistic judges who purport to know the best use of taxpayer dollars to understand the urgency; case in point, Kentucky.

A massive infusion of funds does not necessarily solve underlying causes of a poor education. The Kentucky Education Reform Act, in response to the Supreme Court's mandate in the (1989) Rose v. Council of Better Education decision, increased per pupil revenue from $3,360 to $7,533 per student over a ten year period. However, ACT scores remain flat and student enrollment decreased. Ironically, enrollment in independent schools has increased faster there, than anywhere else in the country.

Because the glass ceiling has been broken, more and more judges act in what they feel are in the best interests of their constituents and aren’t bound by their office –with very few exceptions; State District Judge Duke Welch of Baton Rouge, La., for example, ruled on the basis of precedents that judges don’t have a right to decide how the legislature allots funds.

Earlier this year (2004), in Massachusetts, the court decided in Hancock v. Driscoll, what must be included in an adequate education. Those familiar with educational theories and practices, who actually research solutions to public education, would find plenty to disagree with its finding.

Even though in Kentucky, increased funding didn’t correct poor performance, the New York school system, looks to that state as its model.

In Texas, it’s been decided by the courts that the Texas school system isn’t provided with adequate funding to meet the educational requirements of that system. Astoundingly, four court cases there resulted in Robin Hood financing of the poorer school districts by redistributing the property tax revenue of wealthier districts. Not only that, the judiciary gave itself the power to review whether the legislature has made proper policy choices as denoted in the Texas Constitution.

I advocate that parents be put in charge of where and how their children are educated and that they be given financial incentives to pursue the most appropriate education for their child. The cost of choosing alternative education should be refunded through tuition tax credits. Under no circumstances should judicial activists funnel more tax dollars into the current monopoly of public education, especially money that has to be embezzled by strip mining the Constitution of it’s mandate to protect life, liberty, and property; and leaving it open for a socialist interpretation.

More here

Down with education, sort of

"I think that we ought to abandon utterly any requirement that vocational students waste time on the liberal arts. Schools of engineering, criminology and business management are just that, vocational schools, nothing more. They may be of a high order. Graduating in electrical engineering from a school of the first rank is not easy. Yet the document awarded is not a diploma but a trade-school certificate. So is a degree [in] chemistry or ophthalmology. All are evidence of training, not education. If a student of chemistry wants to study history, and many might, he should certainly be enabled to do so. But it should not be required."

More here


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

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