On the very day that the NC Supreme Court handed down its ruling on the lawsuit pitting the state school board against the state superintendent, both sides issued statements that declared victory.
Reading the ruling from the supreme court is not as arduous as getting through War & Peace in the original Russian, but it is a task. And today Kris Nordstrom, the erudite policy analyst whose writing I always find time to read, tweeted this:
And it made sense of what has not seem to make sense.
It is not that all sides won in this lawsuit. It is that all lost.
Remember that this lawsuit came about because of a special session after the election of Johnson as state superintendent that granted him more power than any previous state superintendent ever had.
A GOP-led NCGA transferred powers from a GOP heavy SBOE to a GOP State Super. For almost 18 months, this lawsuit has been floating in the courts and funded by the very taxpayers who also fund public schools.
And in the end, what happened? Certainly not winning.
What adds to the “defeat” is the timing. Less than two weeks removed from a budget that really does not address key issues that 20,000 teachers marched for and was passed without debate and amendments, this court decision only reaffirmed what most public school advocates already know: Mark Johnson is the face not of DPI, but of the puppet used by the NCGA to control DPI.
Neither side in this court case should celebrate. But there is another solution that will not require a court case to decide.
It is a solution that requires a ballot box and the willingness to vote on issues rather than political affiliation.
For six years, this NC General Assembly has been using public dollars to change a public good like public education into a private enterprise. That motive alone is what precipitated the actions that caused this lawsuit to come to court.
That could stop in November.
In one day.