Friday, February 22, 2008

Blocking the virtual school house door

Yesterday's column in the Waukesha Freeman was definitely worth the fifty cents as I took at the state senate Democrats' shameful performance on Tuesday when they put the interests of WEAC ahead of good education for children.

On Tuesday the state Senate took up the compromise legislation to keep virtual schools operating. Despite the bipartisan compromise, the Democrats in the Senate made an attempt to amend the legislation to include the governor’s caps. It failed 17-16. The only two Democrats to support virtual schools were Jon Erpenbach (Middleton) and Tim Carpenter (Milwaukee).

Then the Democrats brought up the governor’s proposed amendment again. In front of a gallery full of virtual school supporters, Carpenter changed his vote and the amendment passed 17-16.

Liberal author and radio personality Garrison Keillor recently wrote in an op-ed for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, "Face it, the schools are not run by Republican oligarchs in top hats and spats but by perfectly nice, caring, sharing people.

"Nice people are failing these kids, but when they are called on it, they get very huffy."

I’m not sure whether the leadership of WEAC and Governor Doyle quite qualifies as Keillor’s "nice people," but they certainly get very "huffy" when it looks like they might lose. Unfortunately, when they win, kids lose.
meanwhile, the state assembly is going to propose a new bill which will include the governor's audit request but will not include the cap on enrollment. They are going to have a hearing on Monday that will focus on why Democrats are trying to lock out students seeking an alternative form of education that works. Once the assembly passes the compromise bill with the audit, the state senate will have another opportunity to pass a bill without the caps.