Our public school system is the country's biggest and most inefficient monopoly, yet it keeps demanding more and more money. Parents are shocked to learn how much public schools already consume in taxpayer dollars per student, as much as $18,700 per pupil per year.
Yet, many schools claim they are broke and, unwilling to streamline their bloated bureaucracy, they demand tax increases or bond initiatives to jack up the money flow. When taxpayers resist these raids on their pocketbooks, public schools look for easier ways to raise money.
Where can free-spending liberals go? They run to lawyers and activist judges for money, even though policy and spending decisions and tax increases should originate with the legislature.
Judges who relish their personal supremacy over other branches of government are happy to impose social theories even if it means overturning the will of the people. This sort of abuse inspired the 2004 Republican Platform to say: "The self-proclaimed supremacy of these judicial activists is antithetical to the democratic ideals on which our nation was founded."
On Aug. 25, the Spokane, Wash., Public School Board voted unanimously to demand court-ordered funding increases by joining a planned lawsuit with many other Washington State school districts. The districts hired the law firm of Bill Gates' father, Preston, Gates and Ellis, to loot millions of taxpayer dollars.
Liberal legislators are inciting these lawsuits nationwide as a way to appease teachers unions while avoiding accountability as elected officials. In Missouri, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Claire McCaskill says she won't raise taxes to fund her liberal proposals for education because she thinks the courts are likely do it for her.
Her opponent in the August primary, incumbent Gov. Bob Holden, had admitted he would raise taxes for public schools, and Missourians responded by defeating him. Liberal politicians are learning the lesson: File a lawsuit and get an activist judge to raise taxes so voters won't blame politicians.
In the state of New York, 17 school districts have expressed interest in joining the July 23 lawsuit of the Utica City School District demanding a judge order increased funding. A Utica official said that, without additional funding, 190 jobs would be eliminated.
Since when do judges have the authority to raise taxes in order to save teachers union jobs? Since when do judges have authority to raise taxes at all?
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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