Another Lesson in Leadership from Jim Doyle

The Journal-Sentinel is reporting that “Doyle drops plan on school funding.”  I think they got that wrong.  Replays show that Governor Jim Doyle never actually had a plan in his possession.  What he had were some ideas scribbled on a cocktail napkin and trotted out to a gullible press.

He also had little or no interest in working with the legislature or stakeholders to actually arrive at a plan, put it into legislation and get it passed.  He had little or no interest in doing anything about what he has repeatedly — since his first campaign — identified as a priority. His words have been good about the need to provide the resources to give all children in Wisconsin a quality education, but his actions — from getting rid of 2/3 state funding in his first budget, to the cuts in aid in his last budget — have repeatedly moved our state further from this goal.

As usual, he does have excuses and blame for others:

“The governor’s obviously always been interested in moving this forward, but the Legislature needs to approve it,” [Spokesman Adam] Collins said Friday. “It looks like the Legislature has other priorities.”

Anyone who has paid attention knows that the educational priorities in recent months have been driven by the Governor’s obsession with the failed Race to the Top application and bills to enact mayoral control and and give the State Superintendent the power to essentially take over any district that he label as “in need of improvement” (is there a single district that doesn’t in some sense need improvement?).

I think it might be time for Doyle to resign, before he embarrasses himself or the state any further and makes a successful Democratic 2010 election cycle even less likely.

This one goes out to Jim Doyle: Charlie Rich, “Feel Like Going Home [demo]” (click to listen or download).

Lord I feel like going home

I tried and I failed and I’m tired and weary

Everything I ever done was wrong

And I feel like going home

Meanwhile, districts around the state are doing triage, trying to clean up the mess the state has created and neglected and do the best they can for their students under the conditions created by the state.

For more on Doyle’s leadership in education finance see what Rep. Mark Pocan had to say last November.

I don’t want to let the legislative “leadership” off to easy.  They too have neglected and continue to postpone addressing the difficulties on school finance reform.

It isn’t too late.  The Penny for Kids proposal would undo much of the recent damage and begin moving Wisconsin in the right direction.

Thomas J. Mertz

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Filed under "education finance", Budget, education, finance, Gimme Some Truth, Local News, Pennies for Kids, School Finance, Take Action, Uncategorized

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