Steven Bernstetter

An ongoing court case pits the state of Missouri against a coalition of Missouri school districts who are seeking court-ordered funding increases. The districts allege that their inability to perform is directly linked to the state's inability to adequately fund them. This approach is typical of public school systems incapable of providing their students with the necessary education to succeed: complain about money while carrying on with the same failed methods of instruction and administration. This leads one to ask: whose well-being is this lawsuit really about, education professionals or the students?



According to expert testimony, Missouri's education funding procedure was rewritten in 2005 to reflect changing students needs across the state's districts. This should be what matters most to these districts. Their solution for fulfilling those needs: more money, same programs, same teachers, same administrators. If more money always meant better results, their request wouldn't seem so egregious, but further expert testimony asserts that money isn't always the solution. Here's one possible solution: Instead of tying the money to the districts and their ineffectual administrators, lets give the money to the student and their parent's (it's their money anyway, right?), and let them decide for themselves where they want to get their education. Educators often work to preserve the status quo, except when it involves their paychecks. True education reform will change this unfortunate arrangement.

About the Author

Steven Bernstetter