Search Results for ‘kansas "school finance"’

Courts and the Kansas schools, cont’d

Andrew Ujifusa at Education Week (“Kansas Ruling Fuels Debate on Adequacy of Funding”) quotes me:

But the union’s solution of significantly higher funding for schools isn’t the obvious or correct one to Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Cato Institute. In a March 10 blog post on the website of the libertarian think tank, Mr. Olson said that Kansas’ finance fight is just one piece of a larger strategy that seeks to “seize control of school funding” through the courts.

In the process, he argued in a subsequent interview, that movement is subverting representative democracy by ignoring what state legislators decide on K-12 funding.

“I see it as a way in which the educational establishment uses litigation to entrench itself against supervision by other branches of government and voters interested in cutting budgets,” Mr. Olson said.

I go on to discuss California’s Serrano v. Priest and its unexpected consequence, voters’ limitation of property taxes through Proposition 13. And this from Ben Wilterdink at American Legislator on the latest ruling:

Kansas has faced this problem before. In 2005 the State Supreme Court ordered Kansas to spend more on education. Kansas lawmakers complied, but now the Court is again ordering more spending. Kansas already spends more than 50 percent of its budget on K-12 education, and if this ruling stands, it will be forced to spend 62 percent of its budget on education. All of this is despite the fact that when measured against regional per-pupil spending, Kansas is funding education quite well.

Earlier here, etc.

Related: Steve Malanga on school finance lawsuits and other “positive-rights” litigation at state supreme courts [City Journal]

Schools roundup

  • Progressive law school opinion has never made its peace with Milliken v. Bradley, which is another reason not to be surprised that the coming campaign cycle might relitigate the whole school busing issue [Em Steck and Andrew Kaczynski, CNN on 1975 Elizabeth Warren article]
  • Irony? School “anti-bullying specialist” seems to have bullied students over officially disapproved expression [Robby Soave, Reason; Lacey Township, N.J. students suspended over off-campus Snapchat]
  • How Abbott and other New Jersey school finance rulings wound up plunging the state deep in debt [Steven Malanga, City Journal; earlier here and at Cato on New Jersey and more generally on school finance litigation including here, here (Kansas, etc.) and at Cato (Colorado)]
  • “Pennsylvania School District Warns Parents They Could Lose Kids Over Unpaid School Lunches” [AP/CBS Philadelphia]
  • “Educational Freedom, Teacher Sickouts, and Bloated Higher Ed” [Cato Daily Podcast with Corey DeAngelis, Neal McCluskey, and Caleb Brown]
  • No shock, Sherlock: New York law suspending statute of limitations for suing schools results in higher insurance premiums for public districts [New York Post]

Schools roundup

  • Thread on Broward County, Fla. discipline policies and blame-shifting after Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting [Max Eden on Twitter]
  • Nothing wrong with Kansas making clear that school finance is province of elected legislature, not courts [Gavel to Gavel] Study finds that successful school finance lawsuits do redistribute funds, even after public agencies adjust [Zachary Liscow via Caron/TaxProf]
  • “Why the Federal Government Can’t Mandate an Ideal School Suspension Rate” [Robby Soave, Reason] “School Discipline: Don’t Make a Federal Case Out of It” [Gail Heriot]
  • Teacher strikes might have begun backfiring [Jessica R. Towhey, Inside Sources] Are teachers underpaid as a group? [Andrew G. Biggs and Jason Richwine, City Journal] Opponents of school choice embrace a logic that might lead to overturning the landmark liberty case Pierce v. Society of Sisters [Caleb Brown, Kentucky]
  • Judge dismisses remaining “clock boy” claims against Texas school district [Elvia Limón, Dallas News, earlier here and here]
  • Kent, Wash.: “Parents sue school district after son killed in car-surfing accident” [Amy Clancy, KIRO]

Schools roundup

  • Illinois school district warns parents that in doing investigations under new cyber-bullying law it may require students to hand over their Facebook passwords [Vice Motherboard; earlier on “cyber-bullying”]
  • Powerful, from Christina Hoff Sommers: how a shoddy NPR / Center for Public Integrity campus-rape study fueled legal fury of Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division [The Daily Beast; more, Bader] Nancy Gertner, retired federal judge and prominent progressive voice, on due process for college accused [American Prospect] Questions for New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [KC Johnson, Minding the Campus]
  • Smith College: “the word crazy was censored from the transcript, replaced with the term ‘ableist slur.'” [Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe]
  • “Community College Courtesy of the Federal Taxpayer? No Thanks” [Neal McCluskey, Arnold Kling]
  • “Families Of Two Newtown Victims Sue Town And School Board” [CBS Connecticut via Skenazy; recently on suits against gun businesses]
  • More coverage of open records requests as way to go after ideologically disliked professors [Inside Higher Ed, our take last month]
  • Washington Post piece went viral, but it’s dead wrong: “No, A Majority of US Public School Students are Not In Poverty” [Alex Tabarrok] Look, a not-yet-published paper that claims to confirm something many of us want dearly to believe about school finance. But will it have the staying power of Prof. Hanushek’s? [WaPo “WonkBlog”]

Colorado school funding found constitutional

The Colorado Supreme Court, wisely resisting a national campaign of school funding litigation, has turned down a lawsuit arguing that the state is obliged under its constitution to step up school spending. [Denver Post, KDVR, opinion in State v. Lobato]

I’ve got a post up at Cato at Liberty about the Colorado decision, noting that although school finance litigators make a lot of noise about educational quality, they are actually on a mission of “control —specifically, transferring control over spending from voters and their representatives to litigators whose loyalty is to a mix of ideologues and interest groups sharing a wish for higher spending.” I quote from a section on school finance litigation that I wound up cutting from my book Schools for Misrule about the enormous impact such suits have had in other states:

Vast sums have been redistributed as a result. Lawmakers in Kentucky enacted more than a billion dollars in tax hikes. New Jersey adopted its first income tax. Kansas lawmakers levied an additional $755 million in taxes after the state’s high court in peremptory fashion ordered them to double their spending on schools.

The results have been at best mixed: while some states to come under court order have improved their educational performance, many others have stagnated or fallen into new crisis. Colorado is fortunate not to join their ranks. (& reprint: Complete Colorado)

P.S. From a Colorado Springs Gazette report, Jul. 31, 2011:

“Putting more money into a broken system won’t get a better results. There are improvements that could be made without money,” says Deputy Attorney General Geoffrey Blue. …

He points to a Cato Institute study that showed spending on education across the country has skyrocketed but test scores didn’t improve.

“That would mean that potentially every cent of the state budget would be shifted over to K-12 education,” says Blue, who heads the office’s legal policy and government affairs.

December 9 roundup

  • Go vote for Overlawyered now, please, in the ABA Journal best-blogs contest; some details on contestants in other categories;
  • Update on “Got Breastmilk?” trademark dispute [Giacalone; earlier]
  • Trauma patient is bleeding while you fumble to get the IV equipment out of its blister pack. Soon it’ll be even more complicated. Thanks OSHA! [Throckmorton] And where are the stand-up medical comedy routines?
  • Arkansas Supreme Court’s handling of school finance litigation suggests it’s making it up as it goes along [Jay Greene]
  • “Linux Defenders” is tech-firm consortium’s new effort to create “no-fly zone” protecting open-source system from patent trolls [Parloff, Fortune]
  • Zero tolerance roundup: 10 year old who took $5.96 Wal-Mart cap gun to school arrested, fingerprinted, faces expulsion [11alive.com, Newton County, Ga.] Harford County, Md. mom, acting as chaperone on school field trip, “reached out to tap” third grader to shush him, now faces ten years if convicted of assault [ABC2News.com, Baltimore] Related: we’re too afraid of touch [Times Online] Teasing is bad for children and other living things. Really? Are you sure? [Althouse, NYT]
  • Columnist has opposed bailouts and favored free market liquidation of uneconomic firms. Now that his newspaper faces bankruptcy, has he changed his mind? [Steve Chapman]
  • Good way to suffer reputational damage: file a lawsuit claiming characters in movie “Dazed and Confused” were based on your own teenage selves [four years ago on Overlawyered]

Also at Point of Law

Along with a great deal of other discussion of the John Roberts nomination (for which see the site’s special Supreme Court nominations page), Point of Law has kicked off a featured discussion of the confirmation saga by two distinguished contributors, U. of Chicago lawprof Richard Epstein and Northwestern lawprof Stephen Presser (more).

Some other recent highlights at the site: Jim Copland and Jonathan Wilson on the Texas Merck trial, Wilson on Georgia’s new rule regarding “offers of judgment”, and posts from me on an expansion of ADA coverage, school finance suits, the retention by Oklahoma’s attorney general of private tort lawyers to sue chicken farmers in nearby Arkansas, an appeals court approves RICO suits against employers of illegal aliens, health care qui tam actions, the “cab-rank” principle in legal ethics (observed more in Britain than here), and Astroturf in the liability wars.