The states are desperate to get control of their finances. With government
subsidies stimulus funds running out, they are cutting back on schools.
Well, you didn’t think the Educational Industrial Complex would take that lying down, did you?
States have slashed education funds by a combined $17 billion in the past two fiscal years, with more cuts on the table in many states, among them California, Texas, and Florida, according to this recent WSJ article.
Now, many courts are being called upon to decide whether states should be required to dole out more money to public schools.
A landmark lawsuit is due to begin trial today in Denver, accusing the state of failing to meet its duty of providing a quality education to all students, according to this article by The Gazette in Colorado Springs.
Brought by Children’s Voices, a nonprofit school advocacy law firm, the suit contends that the state’s financing of public schools is not “thorough and uniform and particularly fails to meet the needs of the growing numbers of minorities, English Language Learners, those with severely disabling conditions, special needs and gifted learners and other underserved children.”
Similar lawsuits have been brought in 45 states. In New Jersey, the Courts have already reversed some of Christie’s budget cuts.
I was going to rant and rave about judicial activism, about an overzealous interpretation of state law for political purpose, about the failure of more money to solve education problems. But instead, I want to ask this:
Where the hell have these guys been before now? Where were they when the states signed contracts making bad teachers almost unfireable? Where where they when the states put in “credentialing” initiatives that waste time and money? Where were they when merit systems were gutted? Where were they when the successful DC voucher program was killed? Where were they when bureaucrats so tightly regulated teaching as to strangle classroom freedom?
When schools couldn’t expel dangerous or disruptive students, where were the lawsuits on behalf of a quality education? What about useless testing or boneheaded standards or absurd salary structures?
All of the above have a bigger impact on schooling than funding levels. And yet, it is only when a dime less is flowing into the system that these lawsuits appear. These guys aren’t fighting in the public interest. They are fighting for a very very specific interest. And it’s a pity that the media, the Democrats and the Courts are so determined to empower them to circumvent the legislative process on behalf of that interest.