New Superintendent Dorn Gets Constitution Wrong

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On Up Front today, the new Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Randy Dorn, was asked whether the level of funding proposed was unconstitutional. He responded (starts at 9:18 into the video) that the State Constitution says "the paramount duty is to fund education."

That's not, of course, what the Constitution says. Rather, it reads, "It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. ..." It says nothing specific about funding, nor implies that any level of funding is preferable to another.

There's a huge difference between the two. You can, conceivably, provide the best instruction possible without any money at all. Dorn went on to bemoan his claim that Washington State is ranked low nationally in per-pupil spending, which is, to me, actually a very good thing.

It's just more evidence that many people do not distinguish between good education, and expensive education. And that is obvious nonsense. Children today have a worse public education than our parents did, and it costs a lot more to get it.

I am, of course, not suggesting there's necessarily an inverse relationship; I am only stating as obvious truth that there is no significant relationship between how good an education is, and how much you spend on it.

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