BY: Steve Wilson
Legal action brought against New Jersey by the Education Law Center against several school districts over the distribution of K-12 spending stretched from 1981 until 2011. That’s three decades of litigation and 21 lawsuits that have added up to billions in addition spending for little result in New Jersey.
According to a 2014 study by the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute, inflation-adjusted per-pupil spending has grown massively in New Jersey while performance, as measured by SAT test scores, has remained constant.
That could be a preview of what’s ahead for Mississippi if 42 passes and that’s by design. According to the Associated Press , the director of the New Jersey-based Education Law Center, David Sciarra , helped write Initiative 42.
Eric Hanushek , the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University , conducts economic analysis of educational spending. He cited New Jersey as being one of the worst examples of the effects of school funding lawsuits.
“It’s much more appealing to people who want more money in the schools to go to the courts rather than the Legislature,” Hanushek said. “Courts aren’t responsible for the overall taxing and spending of a state and they are prone, in fact, just to increase spending because it’s easy for them to do.”