You’ll Stick With Your Crappy School, and You’ll Like It

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Crazy case in Ohio, where a 40-year-old single mother lied about the residency of her children in order to get the  kids into a better public school. Kelley Williams-Bolar claimed her kids lived with their grandfather rather than with her in Akron. Instead of merely transferring the kids back to the bad school, the local officials decide instead to charge Williams-Bolar with two felonies, claiming she had defrauded the public of $30,000 by getting her kids into the better public school.

Williams-Bolar was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison earlier this month, although Judge Patricia Cosgrove suspended all but ten days of the sentence.

Cosgrove appears to have grown frustrated with prosecutors’ insistence on making an example of Williams-Bolar.

Cosgrove said the county prosecutor’s office refused to consider reducing the charges to misdemeanors, and that all closed-door talks to resolve the case — outside of court — met with failure…

Cosgrove said numerous pretrial hearings were held since last summer.

”The state would not move, would not budge, and offer Ms. Williams-Bolar to plead to a misdemeanor,” the judge said in an interview Wednesday.

”Of course, I can’t put a gun to anybody’s head and force the state to offer a plea bargain.”…

Late Wednesday, Cosgrove issued a news release to area newspapers and television and radio stations, citing the need to respond to ”overwhelming public interest” in her sentencing decision.

”The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office retains complete control over whether to charge a person with a felony or a misdemeanor,” the release stated.

Cosgrove’s bailiff said the office had been bombarded by calls from angry area residents, most of whom were saying that Williams-Bolar’s punishment far exceeded her crimes.

Williams-Bolar was also attending night school to obtain her teaching certificate. Her felony record could now bar her from teaching. Cosgrove has said she’d consider expunging the felonies if Williams-Bolar completes six months of probation.

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64 Responses to “You’ll Stick With Your Crappy School, and You’ll Like It”

  1. #1 |  Bobby V | 

    The real world education that these kids just learned far exceeds their lessons in any public school.

  2. #2 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    This happens all the time in Texas, but not necessarily for a “better education”, but rather for better football and basketball teams….

  3. #3 |  Bob | 

    Explain to me exactly where the “Fraud” comes in.

    It’s not like they’re making up an address. The address given is legit, it’s not unreasonable that the kids COULD live there, and the owners of the address are paying taxes to support that school district.

    Why even have a court there? Or police or judges? Obviously, there is no crime there if they have time to pursue shit like this.

  4. #4 |  Mattminus | 

    Guys, regardless of what you think about education policy, she is breaking the law. How is it not fraud to lie on an official form? They weren’t asking if the kids COULD live there, they were asking if they did. If this was OK whats to stop everyone from doing this?

  5. #5 |  ShortWoman | 

    Dumb. Put the single mom in jail and now the kid has a legit reason to live with Granddad in the “good” school district. Way to go, court system!

  6. #6 |  Kinney | 

    While I think Bob’s point has some merit, I get the fraud, she said they were in residence there when they were not. I don’t understand the damages. To prove that she defrauded by $30,000 by sending her kids to a better school within the county they have to prove they spend $30,000 per student in one school than in another. I know that they have school districts that fund the schools based on real estate assessments but that is still a galling stance for the county government to take.

  7. #7 |  Mike | 

    @Mattminus

    For me it is a matter of overzealous prosecution and racial class disparity. Should she be a felon and lose her livelihood, or be charged with a misdemeanor and pay a fine? Worse, should a mother have to do such things to get a good safe education? Clearly, funding policies and de facto racial segregation are the root of the problem, not her. If the value between the educations provided by neighboring schools is $15000 a kid, *that* needs to be fixed, not her.

  8. #8 |  Mykeru | 

    @ Mattminus

    “How is it not fraud to lie on an official form? ”

    When you’re Ann Coulter lying on her voter registration form?

    Apparently, when you’re Ann Coulter putting down a bogus address is “insufficient evidence” of fraud:

    http://www.bradblog.com/?page_id=4380

  9. #9 |  William Pearson | 

    It’s a good thing it’s not Alabama, where not even a pardon can expunge a felony.

  10. #10 |  RM | 

    This is terrible, but I applaud the judge for being reasonable.

  11. #11 |  Nathan | 

    “If this was OK whats to stop everyone from doing this?”

    A sensible education policy involving either vouchers or complete privatization of schools, such that parents can decide which school their children should attend in exactly the same way they decide which church to attend, which supermarket to shop at, and even which college their children will attend, rather that being forced to send them to a monopolistic provider based solely on geography?

  12. #12 |  Brandon | 

    “If this was OK whats to stop everyone from doing this?”

    You mean what’s to stop every poor person from trying to get their children into a better-quality school? How about making schools competitive so that they have some other choice?

  13. #13 |  Plinko | 

    It’s not clear from the story but it appears very likely from the local geography that we’re talking about two different school districts here, not just two schools of within a single school district (note the below is inapplicable in my opinion if the shenanigans take place entirely within one school district).
    If that’s the case, then how is it NOT theft by fraud? The taxpayers of one school district don’t pay taxes to fund schools in other districts, they pay for the one they live in and anyone submitting fraudulent documents in order to obtain services they’re not entitled to is, in effect, stealing from the taxpayers of that district.

  14. #14 |  Brandon | 

    Plinko, do you not see the irony of claiming that an individual is stealing from taxpayers?

  15. #15 |  Aresen | 

    The story is terrible, but I do like the judge. Sounds like a sensible human being.

  16. #16 |  Mattocracy | 

    In Georgia, you can send your kid to another school district so long as the person at the address given is paying the property tax funding the schools and doesn’t have a dependent already in the school system.

    I don’t think the article mentioned if her father was paying taxes into the school district. If so, fraud seems a stretch.

  17. #17 |  Big A | 

    Perhaps our schools shouldn’t be funded by property taxes thereby limiting which districts one has paid into. Imagine if you could only work so many miles from home, making your choice of housing limited by your choice of work or vice versa (just like having to buy a house in a good school district). What if you could only shop at the closest grocery store to your residence? Would the level of service at that store become higher or lower? “But all the better grocery stores would get all the business.” That’s the idea- let the best places have the most customers, then the most customers benefit.

    Can’t wait for health care.

  18. #18 |  SJE | 

    I wonder what the prosecutor is saying about the judge.

  19. #19 |  EH | 

    Good thing nobody makes an example of bankers or law-enforcement officers.

  20. #20 |  Fat Crack Ho | 

    I ask myself the same question now that I ask myself whenever I hear about something like this: why didn’t the jury step up and nullify?

    Until jurors start realizing their powers, rights, and responsibilities, we’re going to continue to see draconian punishments meted out for non-crimes such as this.

  21. #21 |  Plinko | 

    Brandon – what irony is possible? Am I entitled to free health care from Germany since I pay income taxes to the US or maybe if I dislike that Georgia pays unemployment for shorter periods than other states it’s OK for me to submit false residency documents so I can get unemployment there instead?

  22. #22 |  Bob | 

    # #20 Fat Crack Ho

    I ask myself the same question now that I ask myself whenever I hear about something like this: why didn’t the jury step up and nullify?

    Until jurors start realizing their powers, rights, and responsibilities, we’re going to continue to see draconian punishments meted out for non-crimes such as this.

    That was my first thought too. “What is wrong with this retarded jury?” The answer, unfortunately, is that juries are not made up of our peers, they’re made up of a combination of people that can’t get out of it, and people the prosecution and defense will allow. As such, in the majority of cases, you get the jury stuffed with total followers who would never dream of disrespecting the Prosecution or the Police.

  23. #23 |  Kukulkan | 

    I’m a parent with children in one of California’s best school districts. Given the reputation of the school district, property values in my town are much higher than several of the surrounding towns/cities. In addition to the state property taxes (in California, property tax goes to the state which then redistributes the taxes in a “fair” fashion), our town imposes additional taxes to be used for the school district, the citizens donate additional money (as in hundreds of thousands of dollars) to be used for student enrichment (after school classes, money for the library etc.), and substantial volunteer time is devoted to the school. Accordingly, people in our town pay higher property taxes than the surrounding towns (due to higher property value), pay additional taxes for the schools, donate additional money for use by our children, and volunteer a lot of time to the schools.

    Our town is adjacent to other towns/cities that have abysmal schools (think 40% graduation rate), where the towns/cities do not tax themselves more than the state rate, where the parents do not donate significant amounts of money to the school, and do not volunteer significantly for the schools.

    Not surprisingly, some parents from the nearby abysmal schools want to get their children into my town’s school district. This is absolutely the same thing as Mexicans (or Hondurans, etc.) trying to sneak across the border to have a better life in the United States. I understand their motivations, and might try to do the same thing if my children and I lived in an abysmal school district.

    Nevertheless, I do resent the presence of the improperly enrolled students in our school district, for a variety of reasons. For example, in an attempt to prevent improper enrollment, our schools have very stringent proof of residency requirements (which are a true pain in the butt to meet). Our schools are over-enrolled, which means: (1) some students that would be enrolled in a school close to their home, are shunted to schools (slightly) farther away; and (2) our schools have to hire additional staff to accommodate the additional students. In addition, while our town does not have a significant gang problem, some of the surrounding towns/cities do have real gang problems. Guess what? The gang problems follow some of the improperly enrolled students to our school district. Accordingly, I am paying extra to educate other people’s children who are not paying extra. Those other people are free riders.

    Life is not fair. We are not all guaranteed equal opportunities. If we try to guarantee equal opportunity, we will of necessity have to redistribute wealth to give people equal opportunity. This should be anathema to libertarians.

    All that being said, I cannot support the use of the criminal justice system to prosecute people who lie in order to get their children into a better school. That is not why we have a criminal justice system. Just because some behavior falls within the scope of a criminal law does not mean that the behavior should be prosecuted. Unfortunately, prosecutors’ are not rewarded for their reluctance to prosecute.

  24. #24 |  Bob | 

    Kukulkan:

    They’re barely even lying. They have a family member that lives in the better district, they’re just using their address.

    What if your childless neighbor let a sibling register their kids in YOUR school district using their address? They pay the SAME taxes you do. Shouldn’t they have the same benefits?

  25. #25 |  Cornellian | 

    Let’s just say I’m glad the statute of limitations has expired on my high school career. Count me for acquittal and a hefty donation to whoever is running against that a-hole prosecutor (or his/her boss) in the next election.

  26. #26 |  Ed Kline | 

    She got lucky with the judge she ended up with. Another abusive prosecutor willing to ruin lives to make a point.

  27. #27 |  Zargon | 

    For all my cynicism, I never fail to be appalled at how the human species is utterly dominated by sociopathic tendencies, from the monstrous psychopaths like the prosecutor here who go well out of their way to destroy other human beings for no reason, to the lesser sociopaths (such as everyone who supports the Mexico fence and these damaging immobile school districts), who applaud and support the status quo, because they’ve got theirs and who gives a shit about anybody else.

    I understand on an intellectual level that those thought patterns are a product of evolution, because “me-first” action is basically the foundation of evolution, it’s not like well over half the humans on the planet simply consciously decided to be sociopaths towards everybody who isn’t in their tribe – that’s basically the default state – but that doesn’t stop me from feeling sick whenever I think about it.

  28. #28 |  Rules are rules — The League of Ordinary Gentlemen | 

    [...] Will on January 25, 2011 Well, here’s a horrific story. After defying a school district to send her kids to a better school, a single mother faces jail [...]

  29. #29 |  Kukulkan | 

    Bob at #24:

    No. If the childless neighbor wishes to become the child’s legal guardian and actual place of residence, no problem. You focused on only one of my arguments, taxes. What about overcrowding? What about gang problems? What about volunteering?

    My town’s school system rocks because of the commitment of the community. There are plenty of other school districts that do the same thing. If the free riders really want their children to go to a good school district they have at least two options: (1) find a home in a good school district (or get a job with that good school district, or become a police officer in that town, etc. — my point being that most school districts have other ways than residency for gaining entitlement to enroll in a school district); or (2) gather like-minded parents and improve the school district where they do live.

    The term free rider comes from people who hop over subway turnstiles to ride public transportation for free. The system can accommodate some of this, but if too many people start doing it the system cannot support itself. The same thing is true for any public service.

  30. #30 |  ohiokid | 

    im just going to throw a few points out there. First I live in ohio. The way schools are funded are through property taxes in the municipalities the school district serves. This method has been ruled unconstitutional several times by the Ohio Supreme Court, however the legislature has yet to take action to rectify it(regardless of which party has been in the majority).
    I understand completely why this mother did as she did. I live in the cleveland area. In some areas here, just by crossing a street pulls you out of the Cleveland city schools into one of the suburban school districts that tend to have a better school system. While I don’t condone her actions, they at best deserve a misdeameanor charge. The felony is someone with way too much time on their hands and not enough sense.
    The real failure here (besides the felony charge) is that Ohio Politicians have created and continued to perpetuate an environment where parents feel they have to break the law in order to get their kids a decent basic education.

  31. #31 |  SusanK | 

    I wouldn’t get too excited about the judge. Although the prosecutor has “absolute discretion” in what is charged, the judge has absolute power in determining whether someone is convicted. Had the judge really thought this was a travesty, she would have entered a judgment of acquittal after the jury convicted. She didn’t.
    My second irritation is with the judge saying she’ll support the defendant in getting her teaching license. That is unethical. The code of judicial conduct is extremely clear about judges being character witnesses for others.
    The judge just issued a press release because she was losing in the court of public opinion, making everyone think she was wonderful. She’s not.

  32. #32 |  Marty | 

    my kids went to private schools or were homeschooled. I resent all the public school bullshit.

  33. #33 |  Z | 

    She committed a crime but that’s not the reason the prosecutor is gunning for her. The prosecutor, who works for the county, wants to make an example out of her to make sure other parents don’t get ideas like hers. Because we can’t have just everybody show up at the *good* school yanno.

  34. #34 |  Acksiom | 

    I’ll care about her when she cares enough about her children to find them a better replacement father. That difference in their lives would almost certainly be much better for them overall than the difference between the schools.

  35. #35 |  Bob | 

    #28 Kukulkan

    My town’s school system rocks because of the commitment of the community.

    I seriously doubt that. Rather, I think your town’s school system rocks because your town is full of affluent people. This affluence produces the money for a small subsection of your town to lobby for spending it on schools.

    As such:

    No. If the childless neighbor wishes to become the child’s legal guardian and actual place of residence, no problem. You focused on only one of my arguments, taxes. What about overcrowding? What about gang problems? What about volunteering?

    The childless neighbor already did his (or her) part simply by being affluent and living there.

    Overcrowding? Strawman. The neighbor already has a house. Just imagine it has kids living in it. Kids that don’t contribute to overcrowding by actually being there any more than they need to.

    Gang problems? I’m pretty sure this hypothetical neighbor isn’t a member of MS13. I also doubt the OTHER members of MS13 aren’t going to follow the kids to the school to steal their lunch money.

    Volunteering? Whatever. How is that relevant? Volunteers do it for their own reasons.

  36. #36 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “How is it not fraud to lie on an official form? ”

    Depends on what you mean by “official” and “form”. There are plenty “official forms” you can fill out with nonsense and not commit fraud.

    Not directed at commentor, but can we get over that a) not everything is a crime; and b) not every “crime” requires jail time.

    As Shortwoman said at #5, she should smile deviously and claim jail-time is all “Part of my master plan which you all fell for!” Then, the stupid shits’ heads will explode.

    BTW, never make examples out of people. Jesus doesn’t like that.

  37. #37 |  Steve Verdon | 

    I hate the prosecutors…but the judge sounds sane. Clearly she’ll have to go.

  38. #38 |  Marc | 

    “She also cared for her ailing father, who was charged with multiple felonies in the residency case.”

    WTF? Does that mean the grandfather’s getting felony charges, too, or was that just poorly worded and referring to her charges?

  39. #39 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Mattminus and Kinney,

    The problem with fraud, while I suppose is technically true, the parents are also forced to go to a school district in this case using force and violence….even when the school district is deemed unacceptable by the parent. That is why I think most people find the prosecution completely ridiculous.

    Changing the current system and allowing a greater degree of choice would certainly seem to be the way to go. But as good little Statists the prosecutors had to use their ability to use violence against this women. That by itself makes what ever “fraud” you are worried about seem trivial to me….and I bet most people.

  40. #40 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    Guys, regardless of what you think about education policy, she is breaking the law.

    So? While obedience may be a good idea as a practical matter, there’s no moral duty to obey unjust laws just because they’re laws.

  41. #41 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Plinko,

    If that’s the case, then how is it NOT theft by fraud?

    Lets see, first off taxes are collected under the threat of violence…but that isn’t fraud or theft.

    Second the grandfather apparently lives in the school district and his taxes would have gone to support the local school system.

    Third, he has no ability to get a better education for his daughter despite his forced contributions to the “public good”.

    Fourth, pull your head out before you suffocate.

    Kukulkan,

    I sure hope your kid is getting a better education in regards to reading comprehension that you did. The grandfather of the kids lived in the school district.

    Marc,

    No, the woman’s father, is being charged as well since he was an accomplice. They used his address in the school district in question.

  42. #42 |  olivia | 

    Privatization is not the answer, the choice once again goes to people with means, the means to transport and have transportation, the means to have adequate after school pick up for their children and so on and so forth. Privatization only sounds good and for the cooperations involved it will be be.

    Public choice and good public schools, and that means a lower student teacher ratio — something they have known was the answer to this education dilemma for 35 years, but were too cheap to initiate.

    Now look at the cost.

  43. #43 |  Rick H. | 

    As a childless person, I pay taxes so that other people’s children can go to school, just like the grandfather did. How is that any more fair than the “serious crime” the mom is being accused of?

  44. #44 |  kelly | 

    @Mattminus

    Even if she did commit fraud, who cares? Seriously, “the law is the law” is a stupid maxim under the best of circumstances, and it just gets evil when you apply it to situations where trying to work against racial and income inequality is more or less illegal.

  45. #45 |  QuietWatcher | 

    The public school system in this country is fucked up beyond belief!! In last night’s State of the Union address our President mentioned that China and India have better rates of high school graduates and more kids who go on to college. I have a simple question then, why the fuck don’t we go see what they’re doing and why it works and do that same shit here? Why can’t our public school system officials accept that our kids are not little fucking robots who all learn the same shit, in the same way? If I want to pull MY son out of school after 8th grade and sign apprenticship papers with him and get him started in the Family owned business instead of wasting his time and everyones money, then why in the hell can’t I do that? Oh shit, my bad! I forgot they fuckin get paid every day my kid is there whether he learns shit or not! Why don’t we teach to our childrens apptitudes and accept that some kids are just not meant for much book learnin? Sorry not really on topic here but I am SO tired of my kid bein stuck in this bullshit system and no one in that system giving a rats ass about my kid, only the money he brings!!! Fix the public school system now!!!

  46. #46 |  ParatrooperJJ | 

    All she had to do was share custody with the father and it would have been legal. She defrauded the school district of tax dollars and should be delt with harshly. She did it with full knowledge that it was illegal.

  47. #47 |  albatross | 

    QuietWatcher:

    I gather there’s pretty good evidence that a lot of the difference in school performance, both inside the US and between nations, has to do with student quality. That is:

    a. Put all the rich kids in school A and the poor kids in school B, and A looks like a much better-run school than B, even if they’re funded and staffed in the same way.

    b. Put all the white and Asian kids in school A and all the black and hispanic kids in school B, and again, A looks like a much better school.

    c. Put all the kids whose parents went to college in school A and the other kids in school B, and A will look like a much better school than B.

    And so on. In the modern US, it’s rightly not acceptable to segregate kids by race. And yet, by the mechanism of higher house prices in neighborhoods with better schools, we absolutely do segregate kids by parental income, which tracks pretty well with race (whites tend to be richer than blacks), and also accounts for a lot of potential problems in your students’ environments (the single mom with three jobs who doesn’t speak English probably doesn’t make enough to live in a good school district, so her inability to help with her kids’ homework won’t bring down the test scores).

  48. #48 |  CyniCAl | 

    ”Of course, I can’t put a gun to anybody’s head and force the state to offer a plea bargain.”… — Judge Cosgrove

    I don’t think she understands the nature of the State. What a strange person.

  49. #49 |  ALowe | 

    As a childless taxpayer in a nice suburb with good schools, I don’t have any problem with what this mother is doing. I pay the same property taxes that my neighbors with multiple kids pay, and more income tax. I have to pay to educate other people’s kids anyway, and quite frankly I’d rather have my tax dollars help a less privileged kid get a better education than fund a free ride for some rich kid who doesn’t need my help in the first place. It’s my money, I’m paying for it, and as long as I’m being forced to, I’ve got no problem letting someone else get my money’s worth for me.

  50. #50 |  pam | 

    I got mine, you get yours

  51. #51 |  pam | 

    Zargon @27
    “because “me-first” action is basically the foundation of evolution”

    maybe cooperation is the foundation of evolution and those are the groups that survived.

  52. #52 |  random guy | 

    I love the assholes in this thread: “She defrauded the school district and should be dealt with harshly”. Well so long as were going tit for tat, how about the school districts refund all that tax money they collect from people without kids?

    I believe some kind of public education is essential for a post-industrial society, and as such its cost should partially be shared, partially, by society. It shocks me that people who buy into the idea of public schools could be so fierce in their vilification of a women who was trying to use public goods to educate her children. You want to bitch about how she didn’t pay into the system, then you need to start writing checks to all the single people and childless couples who pay into your kids education. Either put up or shut up.

    What you should be asking is: if the disparity in the quality of schools is so great why isn’t the state government working to correct that instead of punishing a women trying to get her kids through the de facto segregation of the system? The states priorities have been seriously misplaced, and regardless of whatever arbitrary laws are written or enforced, what happened in this case is wrong on many levels.

  53. #53 |  Plinko | 

    I don’t think there’s a single person in this thread defending any harsh punishment.

    Some of us think the case in question is one of overprosecution of what ought to be considered a very minor offense. Others think this is a case of extreme government coercion vis a vis public school districting enforced by statist district attorneys.

    If you’re a minarchist, I can see how you’re outraged by the prosecution, but I think you need to admit that in the world you wish for, there also wouldn’t be the “good” school district for these kids to go to, either.

    If you’re more federalist, I’m not sure how you square the circle of championing more local/state control of schools with the expectation of free movement among schools as some kind of fundamental right. Allowing parents to move students around like that requires a top-down management at higher levels (state or even federal) to make decisions on allocating resources to match up to where students will actually go which inevitably requires that the most critical decisions are no longer made locally. You’re saying that the citizens of a city/town don’t have the right to local determination!

    Finally, the whole relative issue is a poor excuse. Obviously her father does not deserve any prosecution in my mind, but the idea that you’re owed the services of a locality because a relative does live there is silly. If you want your kids to go to those schools move there (swap houses with your dad!), establish co-guardianship or pay for private schools you do want your kids to go to.

  54. #54 |  Omri | 

    If you truly want to be nauseated, read the comments on Ohio.com about this story. The commenters there even go as far as to refer to the two kids as “ghetto trash.” And from what I’ve seen of Ohio, I am not overly surprised.

  55. #55 |  Omri | 

    Here’s one example:


    I live in Copley and PAY my property tax sohe kids of Copley can go to school. NOT GHETTO TRASH. I don’t care if she thinks she was doing best for her kids. She stole from every person in Copley that pays taxes. I do …not pay my taxes for her kids to go to school and they have no right going to school there

    SHE NEEDS TO TO TO JAIL FOR A WHILE. GIVE HER THE MAX TERM!! What a crook and go back to Akron, oh wait jail!”

    Stay classy, Ohio. Stay classy.

  56. #56 |  demize! | 

    Well than the law is an ass. There is no “justice” in a pedantic, iniquitous application of said law. Especially if it isn’t applied in a consistent fashion. Although that wouldn’t make it any more just.

  57. #57 |  bbartlog | 

    Doesn’t the judge have the power to actually set aside a guilty verdict? I’m not an expert (maybe the judge has to have one of some particular small set of reasons to do this) but I’ve heard of it happening before.

  58. #58 |  Kukulkan | 

    Bob at #35:

    My town’s school system rocks because of the commitment of the community.

    I seriously doubt that. Rather, I think your town’s school system rocks because your town is full of affluent people. This affluence produces the money for a small subsection of your town to lobby for spending it on schools.

    Bob? Don’t you think that our community’s decision to levy additional taxes on ourselves shows a commitment from the community?

    Verdon at #41

    I sure hope your kid is getting a better education in regards to reading comprehension that [sic] you did. The grandfather of the kids lived in the school district.

    Umm, Verdon, that’s the grandfather, not the student. If the community wanted grandparents to satisfy residency requirements, it could easily do so, but it did not. I wonder why the community did not do this? Hmm, average family has 2.5 children. So, average grandfather has 6.25 grandchildren. Do you see the problem yet? What about a second cousin twice removed?

    I cannot believe that a bunch of libertarians accept the idea that people who do not contribute to a system are entitled to benefits from that system.

  59. #59 |  Pete Heureux | 

    The moral argument played out between Bob and Kukulkan is emotionally compelling but ultimately arises from falling on one particular side of the fundamental question; is involuntary taxation morally just? If you fall on the side that creates justification for forcing property owners (for instance) to fund community schooling then the argument over who goes to what school is just one of an endless stream ‘local’ battles distracting us from the consequences of our original choice (forced taxation). If, however, you fall on the side that says that it is not right to force others to pay for things they do not themselves directly use then this argument is a waste of your time and passion. If someone was intractable on the core issue they are not going to be more understanding in an argument over the consequences of their original action.

    Those who believe it is not right to force someone to pay for goods they do not receive should stop helping to try to keep the spinning plate of our economic system balanced for just one more day. Spend your time figuring how to get OFF the plate (it can be done!) and leave the ‘taxers’ to it.

    The practical method for the mom in this case would have been to take full responsibility for the education of her children and leave the school system to fend for itself.

  60. #60 |  RWW | 

    Privatization is not the answer, the choice once again goes to people with means…

    I suppose food and shelter should also be completely socialized, eh? After all, we wouldn’t want people with means to get better food and houses.

    Robbing a robber is no real crime. The only shame here is that she was caught.

  61. #61 |  RWW | 

    …our community’s decision to levy additional taxes on ourselves…

    Ah, the weird schizophrenia of statism.

    I cannot believe that a bunch of libertarians accept the idea that people who do not contribute to a system are entitled to benefits from that system.

    It’s not entitlement. It’s just the tiniest feeling of joy at seeing someone throw a small wrench into your system of thievery.

  62. #62 |  RWW | 

    …it is not right to force someone to pay for goods they do not receive…

    Beyond that, it is not right to force someone to receive goods. Compulsory schooling is morally bankrupt and close to useless, even in the best school districts.

  63. #63 |  QuietWatcher | 

    #62 Right on!!! That’s what I was trying to say in my clumsy, pissed of way. I should have the right to opt out my intelligent, mechanically inclined kid who is not doing well in the public school system and that money could be better spent on a kid who excels at the public school systems idea of learning. Not all kids learn the same things in the same way. I told the teachers (who don’t like me at all BTW) at the last conference I went to that the ONLY thing I need them to teach my kid is how to count money and the rest is extraneous bullshit. If a kid is good at something in particular shouldn’t we be teaching to that strength? President Obama said our education system needs to catch up to the times and the technology right? Well I challenge him and the rest of us to REALLY make that change. If there’s something you want or need to know, don’t you just google it? There will always be people who love knowledge and learning who will put that knowledge out there for others to find. Free my child and his self esteem from your bullshit system.

  64. #64 |  Mathew Crawford | 

    Nobody seems to be asking the question as to how all this got started.

    Maybe there was a tiny bit of extra money spent in the educational process, but state and federal funding would be essentially the same for each school in which these kids might attend, right? Where is the cause to have over a hundred families (correct me if I heard that wrong) investigated using taxpayer money? And who wins? Is this just a boondoggle with a handy excuse, desire for racial segregation, or something else? An attack on school choice? Or is my intuition wrong and the money spent will be recovered in decreased “fraud”?

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