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SB 77 Lets Whiney Schools Ban Buses from Competing Districts

A bunch of Republican legislators are apparently afraid of school choice. Senate Bill 77, with primary sponsors Senator Shantel Krebs (R-10/Renner) and Rep. Thomas Brunner (R-29/Nisland), further complicates open enrollment by forbidding a school district from providing transportation to open-enrolled students without the permission of the open-enrolled student's home district.

Under this bill, if Chester wants to send a bus to Madison to pick up the basketball players who prefer wearing Flyer Red, they'll have to get permission from the Madison Central School Board to drive their bus onto our turf.

Our turf? I'm still trying to find the statute that gives school districts authority to govern roads within their boundaries. (I feel a constitutional separation-of-powers argument coming on.) If this statute passes, how would Madison stop Chester buses from entering the district? SB 77 provides no enforcement or penalty; will Jay Niedert take the school board out to form a human chain across Highway 34?

I'm also still trying to find the plank in the Republican party platform that embraces the anti-competition whining of school districts like Madison and West Central. Even that whacky quasi-libertarian Brian C. Liss has forgotten his free-market principles and signed on. Alas, I apparently have to keep repeating this argument: if you don't like buses from other school districts coming to pick up kids in your district, the solution is not to block those buses. The solution is to offer better educational opporunities that will make more open enrollees want to stay in your district.


  1. Michael Black 2011.01.22

    Cory left out that 16 legislators in total are sponsoring this bill.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.01.22

    Does the number of legislators sponsoring the bill affect the logic of my statements about the bill?

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