Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Doing Time for the Sake of Education?

What has the state of public education in certain parts of Ohio come to when a single mother living in the projects is willing to risk jail time in order to assure that her daughters do not become lost statistics in a failing school?  Needless to say, this woman ought to be on the top of John Kasich's list for pardons but, more important, the newly energized Ohio GOP needs to use this case as exhibit A in the opening arguments of what ought to be an epic (and public) fight with Democrats and the teacher unions over school choice and other issues.  When parents are motivated to this level of civil disobedience, even the most cowardly of politicians ought to feel emboldened to act on behalf of the right.
Categories > Education

Discussions - 4 Comments

Well Julie I disagree. I won't be very impressed with the courage of a politician who leaps too quickly here.

Do you want a serious answer on this?

I actually wrote a paper predicting this as an economic consequence of the Ohio Senate Republican school funding.

Short Version:)
Ohio Senate Republicans semi-serious about the projected deficit shortfall,(8 Billion, but wanting no new taxes) ignored constitutional requirements on school funding and did something common sense(confusing a blog post for policy.)

In 2009 they halted the growth of school fundling by pegging each school district's state revenue to an increase of .25%(2010) and .5%(2011) of its 2009 basis.

Not bad from a budget perspective maybe...except that since there is no legal causation between the amount a district gets and the amount of students it has, it greatly discourages "illegal immigration."

Why did Copley-Fairlawn School District hire a private investigator?

Easy there was no longer any institutional incentive. If Ted Strickland's policy had been addopted Copley Fairlawn would have received extra money on a per capita basis and there would have been no incentive for the school board to seek out and hire a private investigator, so long as the school wasn't so crowded, or the state amount amount substantially less than AVC(average variable cost).

Under the old legal framework, there was really very little risk of jail time (unless custody disputes got out of hand.)

Under Ohio's current system some schools get less than 10% of money from the state while others get upwards of 80%.

In such an environment where school districts are heavily reliant on property taxes, it isn't all that improper to consider each resident of a school district a citizen(subject to the jurisdiction of that school disctric).

So who exactly is the "state" is in question and varies according to funding and institutional/administrative interest structures.

"How on earth did trying to provide your children with a better education become a crime in the United States?"

An answer blamming Obama or the labor unions, is an answer that may itself serve the interest structure of Heritage.

But the answer is really that you are a citizen of the school district you reside in, in so far as education is funded from property taxes.

"More importantly is the issue of school choice. If the state is going to force its citizens to pay taxes to provide for everyone’s education, they should do it in a manner that both minimizes the impostion to liberty and maximizes every parents choices."

Heritage and politicians need cookies for this kind of fluff. The question is: Who is the "state" (the sovereignty with jurisdiction)

If the state of "Akron" and the state of "Copley-Fairlawn" force its citizens to pay property taxes, do they do so for "everyone's education" (everyone being everyone who is a citizen of the body considered to be the relevant state actor, with relevant jurisdiction.)

Williams-Bollar is an illegal immigrant from the state of "Akron" to the state of "Copley-Fairlawn". And Copley Fairlawn cracked down on illegal immigration once the state of Ohio no longer subsidized this illegal immigration on a per capita basis sufficient to cover average variable costs.

To actually get deeply into school choice is beyond the scope of this comment. But taxation, representation/federalism, citizenship/jurisdiction figure in it. Ohio also has budget problems, and corruption in charter schools(with bad administrative law.)

More school choice might be good, but it is going to raise funding questions. More likely in my opinion the funding questions will sort of answer the education questions, until the Ohio Supreme Court steps in again.

The outrage isn't that the schools objected to an outsider fudging the system to get her kids a better education. It's about a felony prosecution and conviction because she couldn't or wouldn't pay the tuition the school said was owed. Two kids? Two or three years of grade school? I seriously doubt that the entire property tax bill of a legal resident homeowner (unless they live in a pretty nice mansion) over the three years would amount to even half the $30,000 asked by the school, never mind the much smaller portion that actually was apportioned to the school district.

Yes, the school system there has a lot of broken parts, and we can argue about how best to get it working well again. The point in this case is that the so-called justice that got served up just doesn't pass the smell test.

For what it's worth, the ACLU has weighed in strongly on this topic -- not, perhaps, from a school choice angle. But take your common ground where you can get it, eh?

Thanks for the comment, I know that it definitely inspires my students to want to do more!

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