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Rodriguez vs Texas Schools, The Issue With Financing Public Schools

March 4th 2018

In 1973… the Supreme Court ruled that, “education was not a fundamental right, protected under the 14th amendment.”

And this decision came down under the pretenses of, “equal protection laws under the US Constitution,” when a family in Texas sued their public school, earlier that year. This lawsuit was then brought forth by the Rodriguez family, who at that time believed that their school was inequitable, compared to nearby public schools and that this represented a breach of civil rights!

Which is to say… that the Rodriguez family sued their public school system, claiming that under the 14th amendment, “the equal protection clause,” their school was more impoverished, compared to nearby public schools.

Nevertheless, the exact differences between these schools… are listed below: *Wikipedia;

  • Classroom space: North East had 70.36 square feet (6.537 m2) per student; Edgewood had 50.4 square feet (4.68 m2) per student
  • Library books: North East had 9.42 books per student; Edgewood had 3.9 books per student
  • Teacher/Pupil Ratio: North East’s ratio was 1/19; Edgewood’s was 1/28
  • Counselor/Pupil Ratio: North East’s was 1/1,553 children; Edgewood’s was 1/5,672 (the nearby Alamo Heights district had a 1/1,319 ratio)

Now, as you can see… there are clear differences in the high school’s funding… but the Supreme Court’s decision in this case basically lays out the foundation for how public schools are still un-evenly funded today.

Regardless, after this trial, in a 5-4 decision the US Supreme Court held that education was NOT a fundamental right protected under the 14th amendment and that public school funding could essentially be based upon regional tax revenue(s). But think about what that means and the boundless ramifications… of this one landmark decision, from 50 years ago. And furthermore, I personally believe that this one decision essentially lays the entire foundation for, “systemic class-ism and systemic poverty,” within American public schools today, 50 years later!

Yet, even more troubling is how this decision from 1973 has remained unchanged. But also, this has seemingly occurred because funding certain public schools, greater than other public schools, creates some sort of an intentional, “generational wealth gap,” intentionally indoctrinating poorer schools with the concept of poverty… from the on-set of childhood development.

Regardless, to remain abject… I do NOT find that funding is entirely the problem, either. Whereby, for example… imagine if public schooling was primarily focused on online education? Or to take that one step further, imagine if all of that money going into the NCAA was used for nation-wide classes, online. And if you can, imagine if students all posted their essays online, from K-12, to show their growth, from the onset of public schooling. And this practice, in theory, could then outline a student’s progress and create, “true transparency,” while also encouraging more growth in students at LESS of a cost than schooling today!

Whereby, my point here is… that not all of the solutions to public education are entirely cost based, either.

And what other solutions exist, for improving American education, that we haven’t even thought of yet? Whereby, in conclusion… I believe that America should re-invigorate our education system by acknowledging the problem and maybe posting every student’s work online, for public display… from K through 12.

-William Larsen, Civilians News

*The 14th amendment, Article 1, states;

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”