Unions win another round; Illinois House kills school voucher program


Rep. Rosemary Mulligan: Clueless in Springfield

After one of the most irrational debates recorded in the Capitol, Sen. James Meeks' ground-breaking legislation to provide 30,000 students with the financial means to escape Chicago's worst schools was killed in the House, 48-66 with 2 voting present.
Northwest suburban Rep. Rosemay Mulligan (Republican) was fairly typical of those who argued against this no-cost, common sense approach. We can't legislate that parents care about their children, she intoned, in one of her less relevant arguments.  All kids deserve a public education, she argued, as if they all had to be denied a choice, and sentenced to suffer through the torture that is called Chicago Public Schools. "I urge you to pay attention to the over-all budget and not
this bill," she said, continuing her embarrassing string of non sequiturs.
Apparently, she had another agenda in mind when she voted against the GOP position and logic. One can only guess.

Here is the latest from the Tribune.


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  • It is not a 'non-sequitur' to suggest that a state that ISN'T paying its bills to either schools OR private vendors should think twice before taking on a new bill (the voucher) to a new vendor (the private school). The Representative is quite right and Mr. Byrne is quite wrong (as he so often is) that the state of Illinois needs to worry first about FIXING A BROKEN SCHOOL FUNDING SYSTEM before it concentrates on a voucher scheme.

  • The Leftwing has been saying that we have to "fix" public schools before providing education for years, but education gets worse and worse.

    Vouchers, private schools, charter schools and competition will provide education. The Public Schools can choose to be fixed if they want, or parents and students can choose to fix education themselves. Anyone waiting on the State to fix education is going to be waiting a long time.


  • How much money does she get from the teachers unions? Monique Davis was just as unintelligible in her speech on vouchers.

  • Chicago public schools have some problems that are uniquely Chicago problems, but in the overall CPS has problems associated with America's difficulties in knowing what its public education should accomplish. We are not sure whether intellectual accomplishment should be a pricipal goal--e.g., should a student learn in public education to be a "regular guy" or a "smart guy"? Fear of "eliteness" is widespread, and it affects how public education goals are viewed. Teachers in public schools are not held in high regard; I suspect they are about as well respected as garage mechanics. WHY? Do we not respect what they do, or do we not respect the content of what they teach? We live in a time dominated by science and the achievements of science, but science education is not taught well (or at all) in American public schools. We are not sure whether we should accept the demands of religious zealots that the teaching of science and the scientific method should be replaced by Bronze Age mythology--i.e. "creationism". We hold in some awe the achivements of the Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Indian) kids who always stand at the top of their class in intellectual achivement, but we aren't sure we want "our" kids to be such nerds. About once every generation there comes a person, persons or "movement" that aims to "fix" American public education. Lots of money may be spent on carrying out the proposed "fixes". Then, the excitement dies down and public education goes back to Ground Zero and we still don't know what public education should aim to accomplish. If I had a "fix" to offer, I would offer it. I don't and I'm fairly sure that none will be forthcoming anytime soon. We will continue to spend tax dollars on an educational system whose purposes are opaque for us.

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