Kudos for JLE Members

Congratulations to Kate Barnes, Reed Troutman, and Cathy Barnes whose notes were chosen for publication in the JLE's April 2011 issue. Although the majority of states have a clause in their constitution establishing a free system of public schools, judicial interpretations of this clause varies across states.

Kate’s notes discusses the range of judicial interpretations and concludes that a broad interpretation, supplying educational materials and supplies without fees, is the only interpretation that meets the objective to provide all children equal access to education. Her note is entitled "‘Free’ Education: The Inclusion of Educational Materials and Supplies as Part of the Right to Free Education."

Reed’s note describes the recent advancement in school food law with the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in December 2010. Barriers to its implementation are discussed. The note concludes in support of subsidy elimination as a way to further improve the nutritional choices available to school children. His note is entitled "Health Food Advocacy and the National School Lunch Program.”

Cathy’s note describes the potential impact of the Race to the Top program which was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. With education policy historically being a state and local matter, the Race to the Top program, the largest competitive education grant program in U.S. history which makes funding contingent upon adoption of national standards, is viewed as coercive. It is suggested that other measures which place school funding decisions with parents will be more effective than federal programs in reforming schools. Her note is entitled "‘Race to the Top’ Only Benefits Big Government."