Today Judge Doyne, the special master appointed by the Supreme Court to consider the impact of the education cuts made to the budget, found against the state, ordering them to pay $1.6 billion to Abbott school districts.
In this astounding display of judicial supremacy, the judge ACKNOWLEDGED that even though we’ve spent more money than any other state on our urban school districts, their performance is still declining. He said:
“Despite spending levels that meet or exceed virtually every state in the country, and that saw a significant increase in spending levels from 2000 to 2008, our ‘at risk’ children are now moving further from proficiency.”
So obviously the solution is to spend more money, that makes perfect sense, right? The judge also acknowledged that,
“The difficulty in addressing New Jersey’s fiscal crisis and its constitutionally mandated obligation to educate our children requires an exquisite balance not easily attained,” Doyne wrote. “Something need be done to equitably address these competing imperatives. That answer, though, is beyond the purview of this report.”
Translation: “Yeah the state is broke, but that’s not my problem.” Essentially the judge is putting on his legal blinders and refusing to acknowledge, that, as I’ve argued before, “reality exists.”
This case now goes before the Supreme Court, which is very likely to uphold this report and order the Governor to spend another $1.6 billion that the state of NJ doesn’t have. Once again, our courts have usurped the power of the Legislature, and saddled the taxpayers with more debt. The irony is that all of the increased spending has not benefited the students in these districts at all. Instead, according to Open Records Requests, we see money wasted spent on filet mignon meals for Camden school board members, overbilling on health care costs, chilean sea bass meals for Newark board members, a clown arts workshop, and $10,000 just to film each installment of the Newark School Superintendent’s monthly cable television show.
The Attorney General should quote Albert Einstein when characterizing this report to the court – “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”