| January 27, 2011

Black mom goes to jail, but who's the real criminal?

"An Ohio mother's attempt to provide her daughters with a better education has landed her behind bars," ABC News reports.

Kelley Williams-Bolar wanted to send her children to a better school district, but the modern-day George Wallaces running the place were in no mood to cooperate. (Hey, they can't be expected to let just anyone in. You understand.) As Berkeley law professor John E. Coons explained, "We still arrange education so that children of the wealthy can cluster in chosen government enclaves or in private schools; the rest get whatever school goes with the residence the family can afford. This socialism for the rich we blithely call 'public,' though no other public service entails such financial exclusivity. Whether the library, the swimming pool, the highway, or the hospital — if it is 'public,' it is accessible. But admission to the government school comes only with the price of the house. If the school is in Beverly Hills or Scarsdale, the poor need not apply."

So what you end up with is a black market for school choice, and not just in Ohio. The same thing happens in Tulsa, Edmond, and elsewhere in Oklahoma.

What's really unjust, as Jay Greene points out, is that "no one has gone to jail (and no one ever will) for robbing children of a quality education and then lying about their true achievement" (something else that happens in Oklahoma).

"So," he asks, "who’s the real criminal here?"

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