In the Election Roundup I wrote that the Simple Majority campaign in Washington State had lost. With more complete returns, victory has been snatched from the jaws of defeat. Congratulations to the League of Education Voters and the people of Washington!
I attended the Senate Education Committee hearing on the Pope-Roberts/Breske resolution today (more on that later), and I think there is a lesson from Washington for the Wisconsin legislature and the people of Wisconsin. In Washington, they fought against great odds and achieved a major and positive change is state school finance.
Everyone I heard testify today agreed Wisconsin’s system is broken and that each year we move further away from providing the education our children deserve. Most of those testifying were passionate and optimistic — they believe we can fix this and are committed to doing just that. However, some (not all) of the Senators seemed to be primarily interested in the difficulties and obstacles and 1,000 reasons why we can’t do better. This is the wrong attitude and they need to know that if they’d rather make excuses than do the job the Constitution gives them and the people demand of them, we will elect those who can and will.
The resolution itself, like the voters and advocates in Washington, rejects this kind of thinking. It simply asks for a commitment to try to do what almost everyone agrees is the right thing.
Is this too much to ask?
Thomas J. Mertz