Monday, December 17, 2007

The day for Columbia to Decide

December 10th, the Columbia Public School Board will meet to decide if they should remain part of the adequacy lawsuit. The lawsuit has already cost Columbia over $81,000 and that total will just get higher. According to the Committee for Educational Equality in this Missourian article, total spending would be less than 10 percent of what has been spent on the appeal thus far. Although, when the case started several years ago, it was said that Columbia would only several thousand. Obviously, they were wrong then, why should we trust them now? Additionally, many districts, such as Francis Howell, St. Joseph, and Liberty have dropped out of the case, which will make the remaining districts bear an increasing share of the bill.

Anyways, that is a moot point. Columbia, not to mention the other districts, has no business being in this suit to begin with. The cost so far is over $4.6 million. The involved districts are using tax dollars to sue the legislature, and the A.G.'s office is using tax dollars to defend the state. Suing the state with its money to get more money, really?

The plaintiffs clearly lost this case, and it is ridiculous to keep fighting it. The Missouri Constitution requires free public schools and that the state must devote at least 25% of revenues towards education. The judge was shown how that is clearly accomplished.

Columbia may actually end up worse off if the case were won. It is a wealthier district and it could very well lose money if the state were to reallocate funding to other districts. And there is more...other state programs would hurt too. If the state is required to give more money to education, it will be at the expense of other programs. MU, Medicare, social services, and others, could they survive with a huge budget cut? It would be very hard and more people would suffer because of it.

One major point I would like to get to is that more funding is not directly correlated with increased achievement. In layman's terms, the students will not do better with more money.

There are countless reasons why Columbia and Missouri should not be a part of this case. I hope, for the sake of our children, they stop wasting their money. I hope for the sake of the state and all the services it provides, they stop wasting our money.

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