Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rosen on Lobato

Conservative radio host Mike Rosen takes aim at the Lobato case in the Denver Post and offers some valid perspective and unique insight into the case of Colorado school funding. Rosen is responding to and criticizing the ruling by Judge Rappaport that the state's current funding is unconstitutional as a result of its inability to provide "a thorough and uniform system of public education." The issue of funding and the ability of the courts to legally force increases in state funding has drawn the protest of many in and out of state government. The problem for schools in Colorado is that all tax increases must be presented to the voters, who have resoundingly rejected the most recent attempt to increase education funding.

Rosen focuses on the conflict between the voters' constitutional right to vote for any and all tax increases, and the order from the court to increase funding. Ultimately, some argue that education would have to consume the entire budget to meet Judge Rappaport's expectations. Or the budget would need to be expanded. Clearly, a conundrum. Rosen also points out that the state constitution requires a public education system "within budgetary means." Thus, the argument might be that public education needs to be restricted to meet the available funds. That should raise some eyebrows.

Despite Rosen's unnecessary and ideological shots at school unions and school administrations, and some ambiguous claims about the link between education funding and student achievement, he poses some legitimate questions about how schools must be funded and operated.


Jordan Crawford said...

The primary problem is that the state constitution dictates this education. I don't want to claim that education is bad, nor that not everyone deserves quality education. I just say that guaranteeing a right to education represents a fundamental flaw in a constitution, especially one that limits the ability to raise taxes. All education costs money, and for a government to insure quality public education is for a government to insure some minimal level of taxes. People are constitutionally forced to pay in a state that guarantees education, and that represents a flaw in any constitution or deceleration of rights.
I claim that, instead of this flawed system, the government can simply invest more in the privatization of education. In the case that this fails, the government should at least move away from the veritable monopoly they now have over education. Only once the private sector has significant influence in the education system can the dream of a quality education for all be truly achieved.

mmazenko said...

A move to privatized education would decimate universal education. From the times of Jefferson, an educated electorate has been accepted as the foundation of a thriving democracy and a vibrant economy with a high standard of living. Taxation is the foundation of civilized society's and public education is a pretty indisputable challenge considering the entire industrialized world.