Saturday, August 15, 2015

So, between the Legislature and the Court... who blinks?

Up front, I must say that my position on this is that the Court, in it's earnest desire to pay off its WEA Masters, has not only overstepped the line but obliterated it.

I've made my position clear from the start: The Court has zero authority over either the Legislature or individual legislators.

They have no power nor ability to force them to increase school funding any more than the Legislature has the ability to force the Court to wear green robes with purple stripes.

Nor can they change the budget in this state, since the the budget is determined by the Legislature itself... and that's not even a power the legislature COULD give up if they wanted to.

Those complaining that somehow, the Legislature is "breaking the law" are acting out of ignorance to the extent that the law is whatever the legislature says it is for purposes of this discussion.

The Court can and occasionally does declare a law unconstitutional or, obn the other hand, constitutionally adequate.

But that's where it ends for them.  They have no enforcement ability of any kind since that is an Executive function.

The definitions the Court have placed here are mostly arbitrary; the issue of money, per se',  does not gurantee or equate to desirable outcomes; if it did, every child in Baltimore would graduiate high school with a PhD, given that each child had to labor under just over $18,000 being spent on them last year.

And what kind of results did that money achieve?
Let's see what "significant gains" looks like, shall we?
The percentage of eighth-graders reading at proficient levels was 16 percent, but the city noted a 6-point increase in their average reading scores — one of the most significant increases of all the cities. The number of eighth-graders scoring proficient in reading trailed the state by 26 percentage points.
So, the "significant gain" was from the unimaginably horrifically bad to the level of unspeakably awful.  And there's more:
And while average fourth-grade reading scores rose by 4 points from 2011, only 14 percent of those students were considered proficient in reading.

In math, 19 percent of fourth-graders scored proficient this year and 13 percent of eighth-graders did. The comparison to 2011 scores was deemed not statistically significant.
The local herd of unionist teachers, infesting our local education plant, will tell you that it's OBVIOUSLY a "funding problem."
The PARENTS of these children should have been the ones rioting; they should have been walking around with their pockets pulled out, chanting, "Money's gone, scores suck."

The failure, then, is the Court's inability to equate outcomes with something that has nothing to do with wasting more billions on a worthless, corrupt, disfunctional education plant... but has a great deal to do with teacher incompetence, attitude and indifference.

(No; not ALL teachers are that way, of course.  But each and every one that decided to abandon their kids and violate the law to either stay home and watch "Maury" or go up to Olympia and snivel to legislators of how "little" their pay-checks and benefits and retirement meets that definition... when most of us can only dream about any of those fugires, provided for their 183 day per year, part time jobs.)

I would sympathize with the Court's idiocy had they also demanded reform of teachers; the elimination of the teacher's unions; the reformation of teacher education; the requirement that teachers meet competency testing requirements and the like.

But no... they remained deliberately silent on those issues as if MONEY were the only issue that equated to the Legislature's paramount duty when, clearly, their is much more to it than money.

They demand additional billions because over half this state's budget simply isn't enough.

They don't talk about efficiencies, for example; they don't require any accountability of these expenditures (Was it that long ago that a local school district superintendent, earning just under a quarter of a million a year in total compensation, felt compelled to stiff the taxpayers by having the district he was working for install a shower in his office instead of using one at, say the gym?) and, of course, the idea that tying these expenditures to outcomes is simply out of the question.

There is so much more to the issue of "paramount duty" than just money.

The Legislature is well aware of all of this: do they have the political will to effectively tell the Court and Inslee if needs be to drop dead?

Ultimately, there is but one judge as to whether or not the Legislature is achieving the standard in question and that is those of us who vote.

I would tell anyone asking me, again, that I appreciate the Court's input as much as anyone else's.  But that's all.

No more; no less.

Here, the Court isn't even making a subtle effort to usurp the power of the Legislature; this is an OVERT effort to do that and if the Legislature allows that on this issue, they'll be no end to it.`

If the Legislature decides that the Court is right and they cave on this issue much like they did the gas tax, then where does the Court stoip?

What's to keep them from declaring our current tax structure unconstitutional and then demanding that the Legislature implement an income tax, for example?

They can CLAIM anything they like.  Unfortunately, there's no one else, save for that self-same Legislature, to appeal the case to.

This was not a legal decision.  This was a POLITICAL decision.  And it does absolutely nothing to further confidence in what is supposed to be a blind, unbiased judiciary.

The Blind Justice demands no less.

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