A dire threat to the very existence of monolithic public education (and its teachers’s unions) has manifested in corrupt, comatose little New Mexico, where an epic tempest is forming in a U.S. political teacup. In the scheme of things, it’s as likely as a German dictator from Austria or a Russian one from Georgia. But so far, the locals have failed to stop the threat.
New Mexican public schools are, in the Democrat-controlled state, safe bastions of unionized education, comfortably situated in the bottom levels of national educational accomplishment. Second from the worst last I looked. That is well advertised by the state’s Albuquerque Journal and no secret; the politicians have always “Tsk-tsk’d” and increased the money flowing to the unions. Uh, excuse me, to the schools. Everybody was happy; well, everybody in charge, anyway.
N.M. new Governor, (R) Susanna Martinez, who got in following much-investigated Governor (D) Bill Richardson, was considered safely RINO (Republican In Name Only) and any changes to local education headed off when the state legislature refused to confirm her Education Secretary appointee, who had been a factor in Florida’s education reform.
Somebody however, proposed a New Mexico charter school to be delivered over the internet, using existing education programs available from publishers. Such programs are easily found since the burgeoning of home schooling provided a market. Naturally, the state’s union controlled Public Education Commission torpedoed the application…if you legitimize education via the internet, how will you maintain all those costly buildings full of union members? That was intended to be that.
But…Hanna Skandera, the Governor’s unconfirmed appointee, overruled the Commission and ok’d the charter application for the state. And the lawyers couldn’t find a way to deprive her of that authority, unconfirmed or not. The unions are foaming at their mouths, as well as from other orifices and the Albuquerque Journal reported today that the Public Education Commission will file court action against Skandera’s decision. All this is safely hidden in little New Mexico and nobody seemingly is paying attention. But it is an existential threat to public education in the United States, so the seeming neglect must be intentional. Perhaps we don’t want the idea of public education via the internet getting publicized? Most especially with the education available from commercial program sources.
Just think: There would be competition among various providers! The Education Establishment might not keep its control over what kids learn…or don’t learn. The free lunch, food control brigade would be out of work. Billions in taxes would be unjustified without all those buildings full of union members. Worse yet, kids might get actual educations, right? The parents would have choices!
So one supposes the big guns and big bucks from out of state will start coming in to plug this leak before it can spread. Governor Bobby Jindal (R) has started a genuine voucher program in Louisiana, which you also likely haven’t heard about, for similar reasons. But all knew he was trouble; Governor Martinez is a RINO who wasn’t going to take on the unions, no worries! Hmnn… I hope she doesn’t sit in front of too many open windows.