Monday, March 14, 2011

For the Children (Really)

The overuse of the phrase “it’s for the children” to justify any collectivist/socialist agenda by the left has become nearly iconic.  Truly, they have come to lean on this as the answer to any question raised.  It seems to matter not whether “the children” want, need, or will benefit from the policy initiatives they prop up with this buzz phrase these days.
So, it is ironic that the highest profile battle being waged in the headlines today is one where the effort to truly accomplish something “for the children” is being demonized by the left in Wisconsin.  But, make no mistake. The passage of Governor Walker’s budget repair bill is a huge win “for the children” as well as for school choice.
To most thinking people, the benefit to our kids of having a healthy balanced budget free of cumbersome debt they will someday work to repay is obvious.  But, what may not be obvious is the very clear “win” for quality education this policy victory in Wisconsin represents.
Under the previous stranglehold of collective bargaining with teachers unions, school choice initiatives were often casualties in state contracts with teachers.  The unions that do not share educational outcomes as their focus frequently thwarted policies that science supports as both student-first and outcome-based.  Rather, policies that helped neither the best teachers nor the students’ success were protected.   The backward and disproven educational business models the unions protect did one thing extremely well…  That is, these failed policies protected the unions (and the millions of dollars in membership dues that could later be wielded for political power) by preserving a monopoly over educational opportunities in the state.
With the passage of the now-famous bill in Wisconsin that did away with most collective bargaining for teachers unions, the state is much better positioned to move forward with education policies that actually benefit a well-educated work force and produces Americans who are prepared to compete in an international job market.  Unions that are focused solely on teachers’ benefits were actually strangling the progress of educational policy, as well.   That is why the passage of this bill is such a boon for school choice advocates and parents across the state that simply want their child to be educated.
There are a good number of school choice advocates in Wisconsin policy making arena, including their legislative leadership and the Governor.  In fact, the governor’s first budget proposal already contains expansion of the state’s voucher system and other dramatic school choice initiatives, according to School Choice Wisconsin.  If you care about a well-educated electorate and the future of Wisconsin’s youth, you should be celebrating this victory over the union contracts that squashed school choice previously and encouraging your state legislators to support the educational opportunity elements in Governor Walker’s budget proposal.

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As originally published at


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  2. Socialism + liberalism = Terrorism


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