Randall Hoven at American Thinker has a piece on the dismal Kansas City school district, which is preparing to close amost half of its schools due to budget shortfalls. The AP report blames white flight and poor economic condition in the Kansas City city core for the failure of the school system. Hoven points to another explanation.
A report by the Cato Institute in 1998 highlighted the financial and performance problems of the Kansas City School District, and traced it back to 1985, when a federal judge essentially took over the school district, dictating how much money should be spent and how. The results? By 2000, the district had lost its accreditation due to its abysmal performance.
Spending does not equal performance. Nor does control by fiat of the federal government. Given the liberal demographics of Kansas City, I’m not sure how much better the district would have performed without federal control, but it’s pretty apparent from the Cato analysis that liberal policies caused more problems than they solved.