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Our duty: Study court decision

The school funding decision in DeRolph vs.

Friday, September 07, 2001

The school funding decision in DeRolph vs. the State of Ohio has prompted everything from criticism that the court should have been more forceful to praise that it’s finally over and everyone can move forward in educating children.

Even on the high court, the situation is divided: One justice says the court majority "missed the mark" in its acceptance of the state’s school funding system. Another claims the state’s now doing its best and a little extra push will make things constitutional again.

No matter what your belief, one thing remains clear. The decision and record, considering it’s a 10-year case, is daunting. Downloaded in Microsoft Word from the Supreme Court’s Web site, the document numbers more than 100 pages.

We must, however, read it. We must consider every word, because this is the final time that the justices will address this case. They have declared that the court will no longer retain jurisdiction. State lawmakers, policy writers and future administrators sitting near the governor’s chair have the authority now.

So, we must not only understand Thursday’s decision, but understand the issues that we must be watchful of in the years to come. Even the justices say debate of school funding will not, must not, go away; and the current solutions are not perfect.

It is the purpose of government to continue its work. Now, it’s our purpose to make that government aware of our needs, so that we have an adequate educational system for years to come.

Take your time. Digest it. Then decide what action you, personally, should take.

If you think enough has been done, stand up and applaud. If you think more is needed, call your legislator.