Monday, December 10, 2007

Q & A

What’s worse than a worm in your Apple?

A: Two worms in your Apple.

Q: What’s worse than two worms in your apple?

A: School Finance litigation.

I’ve always liked that as a set-up for a joke. But this is no joke. Mike Podgursky, an economist and expert witness in Missouri’s school funding trial argues against Columbia’s involvement in Sunday’s Columbia Daily Tribune.

Major points of absurdity that he points out:

As many districts drop out of this suit, Columbia’s share of the legal fees grows.

The resounding defeat in Circuit Court leaves virtually no hope that a State Supreme Court judge will radically reverse the situation.

Even if Columbia miraculously wins, the district stands to potentially lose money since they receive some of the highest spending in the state.

Now, I hadn’t thought about this last one, but Podgursky is right: Hancock Amendment implications are such that a state tax increase would be difficult if not impossible. Therefore, Columbia and the other school districts are asking that billions of dollars come out of other state programs with potentially catastrophic results. I think Columbia is beginning to see the light, but it needs to come up again and again and again until they stop spending tax dollars on lawyers.

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