Should courts control public money?


By Mary Tillotson |

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has until Thursday to decide whether to increase funding for the state’s schools.

The decision comes after a March 7 court ruling, ordering the Legislature to fund public schools in the way the court sees as appropriate.

Justin Owen, chief executive officer of the Beacon Center, discussed the issue with Choice Media on the April 21 edition of Reform School.

“What else could it be other than the judiciary defining public policy?” asked Bob Bowdon, executive director of Choice Media.

The legislature, not the court system, ought to control public money, Owen said.

“It’s a great situation for the legislative politicians to be in, because the legislators can say, ‘Hey, the courts are forcing us to do that, and even though you, as my constituent, the taxpayer, know that it’s not right, my hands are tied, and I’m doing it anyway,’” he said. “Rather than responding to their constituent, they’re responding more to the school boards and the superintendents.”

Choice Media and Owen also discussed Chicago Public Schools’ budget and a new “Afrocentric” curriculum, carbon monoxide detectors in Oklahoma schools, the school voucher showdown in Tennessee and rumors that liberal U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts may support school vouchers.

Contact Mary C. Tillotson at