Legal Jujitsu

Published February 1, 2005

According to Sol Stern, one of New York state’s most powerful arguments against the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit was that New York City’s public education system was “so dysfunctional … that corruption, fraud, and waste were bleeding it of money that should be going right into the classrooms–and that therefore the school system should be required to clean up its act before anyone entrusts it with a single additional taxpayer dollar.”

But in a feat of what Stern termed “legal jujitsu,” Chief Justice Leland DeGrasse opined that any fraud and waste in the city’s public school system was the state’s fault as the regulator of schools, and therefore the waste and fraud were irrelevant to the schools’ need for more money.

George A. Clowes ([email protected]) is associate editor of School Reform News.