Friday, November 30, 2007

Recommended Reading: Jacobs - Getting Around Brown

Anyone who really wants to understand how central Ohio evolved into this strange puzzle of municipalities and schools districts needs to read:

Jacobs, Gregory S: Getting Around Brown
Ohio State University Press, Columbus OH
ISBN 0-8142-0720-0

The book is out of print, but is available at the Columbus Metropolitan Library:
379.2630977157 or online at the website of the Ohio State University Press.

The book tells how - tragically - the Columbus Public Schools became poorer and Blacker as a result of the busing ordered by Federal Judge Robert Duncan in Penick v. Columbus Board of Education desegregation lawsuit in 1979.

For residents of the Hilliard City School District, it also tells how the powerful people of Columbus used this as an opportunity to create the suburban housing boom which ultimately - along with a myriad of developer friendly political decisions - devastated the economic underpinnings of our school system.

The people of our community would like there to be a simple answer to why the School Board keeps asking for more of our money to support the schools. There is not. It's not because we overspent on our buildings or pay teachers too much. Nor is it because of all the immigrant kids now coming to our schools.

We have a perfect storm brewing that has been decades in the making. Mr. Jacobs does an excellent job of showing us how we got here.

There is one simple truth I guess:

Apathy is expensive.

1 comment:

  1. That's why it's hard for me to vote against the next levy. Despite the arrogance and lack of transparency and waste of the school board, they are merely part of a much bigger problem and if I voted against the levy it would likely be myopic and petty. But I can't help secretly hoping it gets voted down.