Bill Coley and The Blizzard of Akira Kurosawa

Representative Bill Coley took out a half page ad in the Pulse Journal during the October 28th, 2010 edition to proclaim that looking to Ohio for tax increases to fund education is not the solution to the funding problems at Lakota, and public education in general.

I personally like Bill. But I don’t think he understands what I and others with similar concerns are talking about regarding the statements that funding is the responsibility of the state under constitutional mandate. And his comment that the state is financially broke, and has no money to give to education exacerbates the situation further.

I, like many others, sent money to the state. If the State of Ohio spent that money on the wrong things, then education wasn’t very high on the priority list.

And the money they did use for education, they spent on districts not friendly to republicans.  The way the funds were allocated show an attempt at bloc voting, using our tax dollars to buy democratic votes. 

Why is that important? After all, education should be politically neutral. Well it’s not.

Bill Coley stated in his tremendous ad that he did not want to surrender decisions for Lakota School to outsiders. Yet, it is the teachers lobby that creates the unfunded mandates that come back to all districts. And it is the teachers union that takes the money they collect from members, and spends money on democratic candidates. That is a bit of a problem.

The purpose of this No Levy campaign is not to raise taxes to pay for education. It’s not to have state control. But it is to get the costs of education under control, and to get Ohio to properly fund school districts the way the constitution of Ohio dictates.

Notes: From the State Supreme Court case of March 24, 1997.

Section 2, Article VI of the Ohio Constitution requires the state to provide and fund a system of public education and includes an explicit directive to the General Assembly:

“The general assembly shall make such provisions, by taxation, or otherwise, as, with the income arising from the school trust fund, will secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the State.”


Statement from the Supreme Court decision:

“We recognize that disparities between school districts will always exist. By our decision today, we are not stating that a new financing system must provide equal educational opportunities for all. In a Utopian society, this lofty goal would be realized. We, however appreciate the limitations imposed upon us. Nor do we advocate a “Robin Hood” approach to school financing reform. We are not suggesting that funds be diverted from wealthy districts and given to the less fortunate. There is not a “leveling down” component in our decision today.

Our state Constitution makes the state responsible for educating our youth. Thus, the state should not shirk its obligation by espousing clichés about “local control.”


The Supreme Court specifically addressed the Robin Hood scenario, and that is exactly what has been happening. And it is obvious that Mr. Coley and many others have aligned themselves with the many, many factions that have their hands in our collective cookie jars. And they want to encourage us all to just stay asleep while they continue to misappropriate our state taxes. And I will say that I expect those state taxes to decrease, not to increase while still funding education.

The strategy used by Mr. Coley and several others intent on maintaining the status quo in government reminds me of a film I love called “Dreams” directed by the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.

In this scene, four mountain climbers are exhausted from climbing a mountain, and they have lost their camp. (hint, in my mind the taxpayers are represented by the mountain climbers just trying to find their way home) I would encourage you to take the time to watch these three clips. Because I think it is a metaphor that directly applies to our national crises. Because we are lost in a snow storm, and people like Bill Coley are just wanting to lay down and die.

Here the leader is the only one standing. And he sees someone coming. But who is it? Only the strongest leader can see it. But his fellow climbers have given up the fight. And eventually, the leader is ready to give up too. The being that comes to him tells him that the snow is warm, and the ice is hot. She sings a sweet melody to him to usher him to sleep. And he slowly gives way to the being, until near the end of this clip where he begins to regain his will to fight.

Thats right, the being was a demon trying to steal away their souls with a sense of hopelessness. (In this example, the teachers unions are the metaphorical demon) And once the leader fights back enough, the demon’s true identity is revealed and it flies off in anger.

And the climbers find that their camp was always just right there.

If we’re going to fix all our trouble, we have to get rid of the soothsayers that are trying to usher us away to sleep.

And Mr. Coley, based on your comment in the Pulse, you are one of the climbers that have given up.

Rich Hoffman