Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, February 13, 2015

Supremacist Judges Ride Again

Supremacist judges are again exerting powers that the U.S. Constitution did not give them. A three-judge panel of Kansas state court judges just ordered the Kansas Legislature to spend more money on public schools. Nothing in the U.S. Constitution gives courts the power of the purse, but many state constitutions have provisions requiring the state to provide an adequate public school education. In addition, many states (including Kansas) have adopted a set of criteria known as the “Rose standards” that vaguely require giving students the opportunity to learn basic subjects so they can function in society. So, this year the Kansas Supreme Court ordered the Kansas Legislature to spend an additional $1000 per public school student every year.

The judges tried to disparage the problem of any budget deficit by calling it a “self-imposed fiscal dilemma.” The judges essentially told the Kansas Legislature to ignore its large deficit and spend another half billion dollars on public schools.

Under-achievement by students is not primarily caused by a lack of money, but by the kids’ inability to read. Testimony quoted by the Supreme Court demonstrated that many teachers at failing school simply “don’t know how to teach children to read and write.” Teaching a child to become a good reader based on phonics is really easy. It requires only an inexpensive book and some effort by a teacher or parent. I suggest that schools do a test. Divide the first grade in half; then teach half the kids by old-fashioned phonics and the other half by the so-called progressive method of memorizing a few one-syllable words. At the half year, compare the reading scores of the two groups and you will know which method works and which does not.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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