Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Coalition's laughable solution to Ohio's economic woes

For the past 18 years, the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding (representing over 500 Ohio public school districts) has been fighting for more tax dollars for public education; a lot more tax dollars ... actually, an unlimited amount ... OK, limited by the Coalition's imagination, but you get the idea.

Coalition executive director, Willim L, Phillis, acting in his role of Don Quixote, has done just about everything save "takin' it to the streets."

In today's memo, Phillis equates additional taxes directed toward public education with an economic turn-around for Ohio. According to Phillis:
"Ohio’s economy and demographics continue on the downward spiral relative to other states. The nexus between high quality education and a strong economy is irrefutable. Perhaps a generation of Ohioans will rise up and demand that state officials secure high quality educational opportunities for all students as the Court ordered eleven years ago this day, March 24. Then and only then will Ohio’s economic condition improve."
Phillis, who is all rhetoric and no economic theory, has his causations backwards; the mark of the truly self-deceived.

When he was superintendent of Morgan County Local Schools, Olentangy's Scott Davis was also a big advocate of unlimited tax dollars for schools -- wait, he still is a proponent of unlimited funding. Somethings never change.

Let's let Phillis speak:

To: Superintendents, Principals and Treasurers & others
From: William L. Phillis
Re: Eleven years ago today: School-funding system ruled unconstitutional
Date: March 24, 2008


In the landmark DeRolph decision, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the system of school funding unconstitutional eleven years ago today. Although the decision spurred the $23 billion school facilities program and an impressive increase in the portion of the State General Revenue Budget allotted to public K-12 education (34.5 in FY 1992 to 39.8, currently), the “complete systematic overhaul” of the school funding system ordered by the Court has been essentially ignored. The school funding system is still unconstitutional!

Ohioans often ask, “How can state officials brush aside this decision without redress?” The answer to this has implications far beyond the school funding issue. When legislatures and governors brush aside a court decision and the court ultimately waffles and gives them a pass, the rule of law breaks down. When elected officials defy the court and are elected again and again, the sanctity of the rule of law is diminished. When the state’s dominant, influential media fails to hold state officials accountable and rails against the court decision, the efficacious principle of the rule of law is greatly compromised.

Ohio’s economy and demographics continue on the downward spiral relative to other states. The nexus between high quality education and a strong economy is irrefutable. Perhaps a generation of Ohioans will rise up and demand that state officials secure high quality educational opportunities for all students as the Court ordered eleven years ago this day, March 24. Then and only then will Ohio’s economic condition improve.


Enough said. Yet, watch out for these folks. They already have one hand on your wallet.

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