Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Daughter sues parents for private school and college tuition

When reading this story from leftist CNN, I think it’s possible to decide who is lying and who is telling the truth based on whether the claims can be verified. Not every claim made by each side can be verified, but I am inclined to belief entirely the side that makes testable claims.

Excerpt:

A high school senior’s lawsuit against her mother and father for financial support and college tuition hit a hurdle Tuesday when a New Jersey judge denied the teenager’s request for immediate financial assistance from the parents.

Rachel Canning, 18, alleges in her lawsuit that her parents forced her out of their Lincoln Park, New Jersey home, and that she is unable to support herself financially. The lawsuit asks that her parents pay the remaining tuition for her last semester at her private high school, pay her current living and transportation expenses, commit to paying her college tuition and pay her legal fees for the suit she filed against her parents.

Her parents say she left home because she didn’t want to obey their rules.

Here are the daughter’s claims:

Canning, an honor student and cheerleader at Morris Catholic High School in Denville, says in court documents she had to leave her parents’ home because of emotional and psychological mistreatment, alleging, among other things, that her mother called her “fat” and “porky” and that her father threatened to beat her.

“I have been subjected to severe verbal and physical abuse by my mother and father,” Canning wrote in a court certification. “I am not willingly and voluntarily leaving a reasonable situation at home to make my own decisions. I had to leave to end the abuse.”

Here are some facts not in dispute:

Canning left her parents’ home at the end of last October. After spending two nights at her boyfriend’s home, she moved into the home of her friend in a nearby town, where she has been staying ever since, according to court documents written by the parents’ attorney.

And here are her parent’s claims:

Canning’s parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, claim that allegations of abuse are completely unfounded.

“We were always her support team, cheering her on or defending her whenever she had a problem,” wrote Elizabeth Canning in a court certification. She claims that her daughter was never forced out of the family’s home, but rather “took it upon herself to run away so that she could live her life without any parental supervision and without any rules.”

Canning was suspended from school for truancy last October, according to court documents filed by her parents’ attorney, Laurie Rush-Masuret. Her parents told the teen that she could no longer see her boyfriend, who was also suspended from school. Car and phone privileges were also taken away. Once she learned of the punishment, Canning cut school again and then decided to run away, her father said in court documents.

Once she left home, her parents notified Morris Catholic High School that they would no longer pay for their daughter’s tuition, the documents state.

Now it seems to me that her parents are now on record making testable claims in court documents – claims that can be verified. Why would they do that if they knew those claims were not true? So I’m inclined to believe them, and I’m glad that this woman’s mother is sticking by her man in this fight. That is not always the case when daughters sue fathers.

So, I’m going to assume that the parents are telling the truth. But even if they aren’t, do you think that it’s normal for a child to sue her parents for disciplining her? I find it astonishing that a child could be so stupid as to prefer her boyfriend and her friends’ parents to her own parents. Doesn’t she know that long after the boyfriend and the other couple are gone, that her parents will still be there for her? What they’ve provided her with already in terms of sending her to a private school shows me that they must care about her. Parents don’t shell out money for private schools unless they have some interest in their child’s success.

So I guess I’m shocked by this story, and I’m wondering what young women are coming to when they do things like this. They seem to be so rebellious, making wrong decisions and then turning to abortion, social programs and no-fault divorce to get out of their own poor choices. It really is scary. Speaking as a man, the fact that this trial even happened makes me not want to bother with marriage and children. Don’t people realize how it looks to men when they see things like this? No man is working and saving up for marriage to be treated like this. We don’t get married to have MORE rebellion and disorder.

By the way, I had to search several stories to find the details about the suspensions and the boyfriend, and CNN was the only source that had it. Color me surprised.

UPDATE: A lot more on what the daughter did to drive the parents crazy in the UK Daily Mail.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , ,

Has Obama’s buddy Jon Corzine misplaced $1.2 billion of customer funds?

From the Washington Times.

Excerpt:

The facts are that on Oct. 25, Jon Corzine, a former New Jersey governor, stated he was confident that MF Global would successfully manage its $6.3 billion exposure to European debt (Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy). Yet a week after a failed attempt to sell the company, MF Global filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Oct. 31.

Now let’s discuss the failure of management at MF Global. Mr. Corzine who is considered by many one of the smartest fixed-income minds in the business took immeasurable risk with the capital of his firm. It was revealed that the company was leveraged 40-1. In summary, the company only had 2.5 percent equity invested against risk positions. Note: Even in the height of the subprime crisis a 40-1 leverage would have been considered extremely risky, where small movements in underlying positions could represent deleterious outcomes for investors.

Did the great Jon Corzine not learn from the greatest financial meltdown seen in the U.S. economy? The answer is simple, here is another example to the entrusted “gambling with other people’s money.” The irony of this is that in the August 2011 bond deal there is a key clause that states if Mr. Corzine departs as MF Global’s full-time chief executive officer prior to July 1, 2013, because of an appointment to a federal position by the president and confirmation of that appointment by the U.S. Senate, investors would get an additional 1 percent coupon on their existing 6.250 percent bonds. I beg to differ in that the “clause” should have said if Mr. Corzine decides to increase the risk-taking at MF Global similar to previous risk positions at Goldman Sachs, investors should be redeemed their money at 100 cents on the dollar. We will find out more but another concern, there is approximately $600 million of unaccounted for customer funds.

UPDATE: The figure is now $1.2 billion.

Excerpt:

The court-appointed trustee overseeing MF Global’s bankruptcy says up to $1.2 billion is missing from customer accounts, double what the firm had reported to regulators last month.

Obama is the Solyndra president. He’s been raiding the public coffers to reward his billionaire campaign fundraisers from day 1 with from his “stimulus” funding – running 1.3 trillion deficits to pay off all the people who got him elected. The young people who will have to pay off this debt still keep voting for him like lemmings – they have no idea about his connections to rich Wall Street bankers. They buy the rhetoric. And the Obama-media has no interest of informing anyone about his connections to dodgy people and organizations.

Look for Corzine to get a presidential pardon in 2012, when Obama leaves office.

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New Jersey per-pupil cost is $17,800

Eastern United States Map

Eastern United States Map

From the Wall Street Journal. (H/T Michele Bachmann)

Excerpt:

The Christie administration has recalculated the amount it says New Jersey public school districts spend per pupil, increasing the state average rate by several thousand dollars to more than $17,800.

The figure, from the 2009-10 school year, has been adjusted to include costs such as transportation, federal funding, debt payments and legal judgments that can vary greatly from district to district. In the 2008-09 school year, using the previous calculation, the state average was $13,200 per student.

The Christie administration says the new figure is more transparent and complete.

[...]Gov. Chris Christie has frequently said that Newark schools spend nearly $25,000 per student, despite what he calls failing results. The new spending guide shows Newark’s spending at nearly $23,000 per student, up from about $17,600 under previous estimates.

Compare that with the average tuition with higher-performing private or parochial schools.

Excerpt:

AVERAGE PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION: $8,549

Elementary: $6,733
Secondary: $10,549
Combined: $10,045
(Digest 2009, Chapter 2, Table 59)

AVERAGE CATHOLIC SCHOOL TUITION: $6,018

Elementary: $4,944
Secondary: $7,826
Combined: $9,066
(Digest 2009, Chapter 2, Table 59)

I think we need to put in a national voucher system, or, failing that, we should abolish the federal Department of Education completely and leave education to the states and municipalities.

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How hard is it to dismiss a public school teacher in New Jersey?

From the Wall Street Journal. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

As executive director of security for the Paterson, N.J., school system, one of James Smith’s jobs is to try to remove teachers accused of wrongdoing from the district. That, combined with his 25 years in the Paterson Police Department, has taught him an important lesson: Trying to get rid of teachers is “10 times more difficult than any criminal case I’ve ever worked on,” he said.

One recent case the retired police captain points to is that of a special-education teacher who for years had been accused by students, parents and other teachers of hitting students. The case dragged on for four years and cost Paterson more than $400,000 to finally get the teacher dismissed. That included more than $280,000 the teacher collected in salary (even though he was no longer working) while the case was argued.

Few in New Jersey attempt what Mr. Smith does. In 2008, the last year for which the state Department of Education provides statistics, only 35 tenure cases were filed in the state. Nineteen resulted in the loss of tenure. There are more than 120,000 teachers in the state, and more than 600 school districts. Paterson is one of the state’s largest districts, with 52 schools and 24,000 students.

Mr. Smith, 55 years old, estimates that he has filed one to two tenure charges a year—usually in cases where teachers won’t resign when confronted with his allegations.

[...]Setting up a winnable tenure case means gathering irrefutable evidence, much as in a criminal investigation. Mr. Smith leaves no stone unturned—even traveling out of state to interview retired employees who may have witnessed a teacher’s actions.

“People don’t realize what goes into it,” he said.

Sometimes, he sets up surveillance stakeouts. In one recent case, a teacher was being paid by the district to give lessons at home for two hours a day to a special-needs child who was bedridden. In fact, Mr. Smith said his videographer caught her dropping by for only a few minutes, then heading home or to a store. Another time, cameras caught a teacher who was out with back pain working vigorously in his yard.

This is one reason why parents should have a choice of schools, and receive a voucher so that they can register their child at any school that they think will teach their child the best. The public school system should have to compete for students with a robust “private option” education system. Once public schools have to care about the needs of their customers (students and their parents) then public schools will work fine. Right now, they don’t have to care about their customers – they keep their jobs and gets raises regardless of performance. That has to stop.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Jersey turnpike wasted millions on perks

From Fox New York.

Excerpt:

Auditors say the New Jersey Turnpike Authority wasted $43 million on unneeded perks and bonuses.  In one case, an employee with a base salary of $73,469 earned $321,985 when all payouts and bonuses were included.

The audit says that toll dollars From the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway were spent on items ranging from an employee bowling league to employee bonuses for working on birthdays and holidays.

It took place as tolls were being increased.

The biggest expense uncovered in the audit was $30 million in unjustified bonuses to employees and management in 2008 and 2009 without consideration of performance.

One example was paying employees overtime for removing snow and working holidays and then giving additional “snow removal bonuses” and “holiday bonuses.”

The Comptroller’s Office audit released Tuesday says taxpayers also paid $430,000 for free E-ZPass transponders for employees to get to work and nearly $90,000 in scholarships for workers’ kids.

The audit shows turnpike authority employees got bonuses and overtime for working their birthdays and holidays.

Comptroller Matt Boxer says tolls are set for another increase in 2012.

[...]Another audit finding was that employees were allowed to cash out a portion of their unused sick and vacation days at the end of the year to circumvent the current $15,000 limit for sick leave payouts upon retirement.  That cost $3.8 million a year.

New Jersey is a hard blue state. Deep, deep blue.

If a private company did something crazy wasting money like this, they would be out of business because their prices would be higher when compared to their competitors. That’s why government is inefficient and wasteful – it has no competitors. We need to keep everything possible in the private sector and have transparency, accountability and whistleblower protections to contain government corruption and fraud.

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