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May 19, 2006

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JMart

The contention that this deeply flawed school finance legislation "addresses a host of the court's concerns" misses the central legal point of the court's ruling.

The court listed a number of reasons WHY the plaintiffs deserved relief from the defendants -- the so-called "concerns" -- but the court called for ONE simple remedy. And it is the appropriateness of the rememdy on which the court must rule.

The state is required to fund the ACTUAL COST of providing an education that provides students with a fair opportunity to meet the established state and federal achievement standards. The ACTUAL COST was to be determined by a legitimate, professional cost study.

The legislature has now paid for two such studies -- one by Augenblick & Myers, and one by Legislative Post Audit -- and this legislation falls far, far short of meeting the actual cost standard. The state paid more than a million dollars to fund these studies, and it is blatantly ignoring their findings.

That is the only "concern" before the court. And that is why the court will rule that the legislature's action was insufficient.

If I take you to court, sue you for $10,000 and win, giving me $100 may "address my concern" to a certain point, but it does not satisfy the judgment.

The court has set an "actual cost" standard for satifying the judgment. They're not going to back down from that.

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