Wednesday, April 18, 2007

MoCo BOE, Friends of Lawyers

Jerry Weast and the Montgomery County Board of Education are the great friends of D.C. and Howard County lawyers. Although most of the legal fees expended by Weast and his Board are hidden in the operating budget, we found some tidbits of information about some of the outside lawyers Weast uses to fight his legal battles.

As best we can tell, Weast paid two different law firms about $219,000 to lose a lawsuit about flyers in the schools. The BOE is about to pay about $250,000 to the lawyers who won the case as well. Was it worth a half-million dollars to keep 10 kids from sending out their flyer about a Bible study? Having lost the first flyer lawsuit the BOE changed their policy, dared the winner to sue them again and then lost again. Each time paying for both sides' legal fees. Sound familiar? Recently, Pat O'Neil and Sharon Cox told the Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays (PFOX) and Citizens for Responsible Curriculum (CRC) to "bring it on" referring to another lawsuit over the failed sex education curriculum. This after they spent over $320,000 on legal fees on the sex education controversy. Not to mention the sum they paid the winning lawyers in that lawsuit. Oh, and they lost the last lawsuit in 5 days. How do you produce a curriculum so bad that you lose a federal lawsuit in 5 days? (BOE says they did not lose, but the court entered an injunction saying there was such a high likelihood that PFOX and CRC would win that he stopped the curriculum in its tracks causing Weast to throw it out, that friends is called losing a lawsuit) Did Weast or anyone on the Board actually read the prior curriculum before spending so much money on lawyers to try and defend it? And, I don't include all the consultants and private investigators paid for these cases.

Using Weast's own budget numbers we know he spends over $14,000 per student. (We think its much higher but can't prove it just yet) I checked with a local parochial school to find out how much they charge. You can send 2 kids to a nice school for under $10,000. Should we be thinking about a voucher program? (Adjustment for children with special needs of course) If you want your kids being indoctrinated in the pet issue of the day, you send them to Jerry Weast Academy. If not, you send them somewhere else. We all like choices and everyone knows competition is a good thing. Except in MoCo schools, where everyone has to be a winner, especially Jerry Weast his Board of Education.

Problem is, no matter how many millions Jerry spends on lawyers, he keeps losing.