In case Megan-Jane McArdle-Galt is busy teaching disadvantaged children to read, or is stuck in line waiting for her new iPhone, we will remind readers of a socialist bent that when they start off at 75º, you get your sweet & sour wings that much quicker.
The story turned up last evening at the
ITEM: The "Supreme" Court, fresh from announcing it didn't have the courage to follow its own logic in the Voting Rights case, gets even by tying tin cans to your dog's tail, deciding that the Forest Grove (OR) school district is on the hook for $5200/mo for private, residential schooling for a student with ATHD "and other disabilities" it had found ineligible for special education services.
Now, 1) have I read the decision? No. 2) Did I watch last night as two local stations, and at least two of the nets, reported this with some variation of "The Court makes it easier to send your children to private school at taxpayer expense"? Yes. Yes indeedy-do.
In other news, Neil Bush announces the creation of the world's first Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Super School, somewhere in Colorado. Competitive out-of-state tuition rates.
From what we can piece together from reports which do manage to let the facts get in the way of some good sensationalism, the main question was whether the district was liable under the law if the student had never received special-ed services from the public schools. The school had acknowledged learning disabilities, but the diagnosis of ATHD and other disabilities came after the private enrollment.
The majority downplayed the idea that the ruling could create a run on public funding, noting that only 1% of special-needs students are placed in private schools. But that, of course, is the figure before the Court opened the floodgates and prayed it wouldn't rain. And cui bono? Not poor students with learning disabilities. Wealthy ones whose parents can afford to shop for agreeable doctors and psychologists, assuming they don't already own one, pay for private institutionalization on spec, and hire the right lawyers to make the whole thing pay off.
And don't get me wrong. The law ought to be decided on the merits, and the chips allowed to fall where they may. Special needs students should get everything they're entitled to, including whatever it takes to give them a complete education. The district could have settled; in hindsight, when the Court goes 6-3 against maybe you got some bad advice. And the matter is now returned to the state, which has to apply the standard. But if you imagine this won't open the door to institutionalized blackmail by the wealthiest of our citizens, you're either of a sunnier disposition than I (talk about lowering the bar to the ground!), or we've been watching a different AMA, a different American Psychological Association, hell, a different America these last few decades. And if you think state legislatures are going to foot the bill, you must live somewhere other than Indiana:
ITEM: The education plan, or "education" "plan", of Bonzai Governor Rip van Daniels will cost Indianapolis Public Schools, the state's largest school district, as much as $47 million, it says, necessitating draconian cuts. The shortfall is potentially so severe that someone was heard whispering about the two new, full-time assistants the district gave Superintendent Eugene White so he'd have more time to change cufflinks between meetings.
In fairness, the man's goddam cufflinks weight about six pounds apiece, and probably require a full-time assistant with the use of a hand truck and laser level.
The reason for the funding decline--it comes in spite of Daniels' pledge to heroically raise state education spending 2% by using someone else's credit card--is the "Funding Follows the Student" formula, which rewards white flight districts for converting productive farmland into McMansionvilles, while penalizing urban students, or, rather, penalizes any of 'em who actually survive attending a school with no air conditioning. This is why the National Review, e.g., recently limned Mitch's Educational Achievements: because coming up with a clever bumpersticker slogan always trumps actually looking at the problem. Come to think of it, that's also exactly how they wound up touting his educational record. Must be a theme.
This, by the way, despite the fact that last weekend White was given a good fluffing in the political column in the Indianapolis
Now, let's just recap; I see some of you got here late: the African-American superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, a native of Strange Fruit, Alabama, a product of the Jim Crow South, the first member of his family to graduate from high school, who owes his higher education to the fact that his athletic prowess was one of the few acceptable avenues to one, rises to the Superintendency of the largest school district in Indiana, a district with a serious history of racial discrimination dating to the control of the state by the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, and one where the white-flight township schools were allowed to keep their independent status in the late 60s, when the city annexed the county wholesale. A Federal desegregation order then required those city schools to pay the white-flight schools to accept their minority students. For thirty years. There is a friggin' century of institutionally short-changing (to put it nicely) poor and melanin-enhanced students, which doesn't just continue but gets accelerated under Big Brain Mitch, and the Superintendent of the district which takes it in the shorts, sans lube, is mouthing Republican talking points about unions.
For the life of me, I can't understand how there's no vertigo pandemic.