"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Jeb's Statewide Voucher Plan Dead

By a 5-2 vote, the Florida Supreme Court ruled just after noon today that Florida's "opportunity scholarships" are unconstitutional. Here is the story and here is the decision.

1 comment:

  1. As with their year 2000 decision, the Supreme Court of Florida (SCOFLA) misconstrues plain English, in defense of the interests of public sector unions.

    "Our inquiry begins with the plain language of the second and third sentences of article IX, section 1(a) of the Constitution. The relevant words are these: “It is .
    . . a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders.” Using the same term, “adequate provision,”
    article IX, section 1(a) further states: “Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public
    schools.” For reasons expressed more fully below, we find that the OSP violates this language. It diverts public dollars into separate private systems parallel to and in competition with the free public schools that are the sole means set out in the
    Constitution for the state to provide for the education of Florida’s children. This
    diversion not only reduces money available to the free schools, but also funds private schools that are not “uniform” when compared with each other or the public system."

    1) That the Florida constitution mentions "public schools" alone as the mechanism of "public education" hardly requires that policy-makers in the legislature recognize State-operated schools as the "sole" mechanism.

    2) Florida's State-monopoly schools are not "uniform" nor are they "efficient".

    3) A policy which gives to students a school voucher good for some fraction 0 < a/b < 1 of a district's per pupil budget --increases-- the per pupil budget available for the students who remain in the NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel's schools (the "public" schools).

    Public sector union leaders and the do-nothing parasites who infest large school districts win. Students, parents, real classroom teachers, and taxpayers lose.