http://www.opinionjournal.com/cc/?id=110008293 Educating From the Bench Judges order legislators to spend more on schools, and taxpayers see less in return. BY JAY P. GREENE Thursday, April 27, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT EXCERPT FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.--Spending on public schools nationwide has skyrocketed to $536 billion as of the 2004 school year, or more than $10,000 per pupil. That's more than double per pupil what we spent three decades ago, adjusted for inflation--and more than we currently spend on national defense ($494 billion as of 2005). But the argument behind lawsuits in 45 states is that we don't spend nearly enough on schools. Spending is so low, these litigants claim, that it is in violation of state constitutional provisions requiring an "adequate" education. And in almost half the states, the courts have agreed. Arkansas is one such state, and its "adequacy" problem neatly illustrates the way courts have driven spending up and evidence out. SNIP One might think that relying on court-ordered experts would be more rational and responsible than leaving spending decisions to politicians. The exact opposite is the case. For all of their defects, legislators can be held responsible for wasting taxpayer dollars, while courts and the consultants they mandate generally cannot. This gives courts and consultants license to use pseudoscience to drive education spending higher, where legislators might be more skeptical and frugal.