Advancing a Free Society

Looking for a Friend in Court

Monday, April 4, 2011

State budgets this year face huge revenue losses, thanks to the recession and the end of federal stimulus money. Each threatened interest group has mobilized to try to escape any impact but none as effectively as schools, which have a special weapon: the courts.

The argument in the courts — playing out now in New Jersey and likely soon in New York — is simple: The state Constitution protects us from taking any share of the pain of the fiscal calamity. This kind of logic may indeed spread to other states.

The common public line is that, because of budget pressures, class sizes will rise to the extent that learning is virtually impossible. In reality, until this year, class sizes across America have fallen for the last 15 years, to new lows. This ploy is simply part of the political bargaining that is designed to separate schools from any budget problem.

Continue reading Eric Hanushek at EducationNext