This July 31, the U.S. Department of Justice released the findings of a 20-month investigation into the St. Louis County Family Court that sent a jolt through the system. "The investigation found that the court fails to provide constitutionally required due process to children appearing for delinquency proceedings, and that the court’s administration of juvenile justice discriminates against black children, all in violation of the 14th Amendment," assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, the head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, said in a conference call.
The arcane world of school finance in Missouri can be harder to understand than the most obscure poem or the most difficult calculus problem. But clear away all of the acronyms and calculations and modifications, and it comes down to two simple questions: Should the quality of children’s education depend on where they live? And how important is money to education anyway?