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Friday, January 07, 2011

Times Editorial on the Governor's Big Idea

Here's a first - I agree with nearly everything in a Times' editorial on education.

I left this comment.

I went to a Town Hall last night that included newly-elect state Senator Scott White. He seemed pretty enthused on this idea although the lack of detail seemed to trouble him. Several in the audience thought it "bold" but again, the details. One person asked why the Governor would be so in-your-face to Randy Dorn. Yes, it is a bit unseemly.

The Times zeroed right in on the issue - streamline, consolidate and have a clear line on pre-k-higher ed. The Governor can do a lot of this on her own. But creating a whole new department with the head of it directing an elected official (Randy Dorn) who is appointed by her? And, how does this all REALLY save money? There cannot be any new initiative over the next 5 years without showing how it would save money and/or where the money would come to fund it.

Everyone should take a deep breath and step back from the podium on this one.

4 comments:

none1111 said...

I'm surprised that there's no mention of potential Broad/Gates influence in the comments (20 so far).

If I was a fabulously rich dude trying to influence public education, and if I kept running into speed bumps and road blocks in individual districts, what better way to gain an inside track than chumming up with the governor and getting the ability to hand-pick a new leader? One that oversees the whole shebang from top to bottom!

If this organizational change happens, the new leader would have a huge influence in everything from educational policy to legislation (as a powerful "lobbyist" with close ties to the gov.). If this person just happened to be part of the reform movement, well, I'll leave that to everyone's imaginations.

Even though there are some nice efficiencies to be had, I think this is a very bad idea.

Melissa Westbrook said...

But None, we should keep pointing out that NOTHING is stopping her from streamlining. She's done it in other departments/programs.

none1111 said...

Sure, but were the other departments led by elected officials with a title and office protected by the state constitution? (I don't know at all, just asking) This is essentially usurping power from an elected official.

One of the Times commenters mentioned the likelihood of Dorn fighting the legalities of this potential change. It will be interesting to see if/how this pans out.

ttln said...

Just a question. I don 't know if anyone can answer it. But...

I was just reading the state constitution and ran across something that made me go "huh?"

Article II section 28 Special Legislation: The legislature is prohibited from enacting any private or special laws in the following cases:...7. authorizing the apportionment of any part of the school fund... 15. Providing for the management of schools.

What might might "violations" of these two items look like in real life?