Monday, April 07, 2008

Win for the kids

For those of you joining us from out of state - a summary;

A virtual charter school was founded some years ago. These are the Good Guys. The Wisconsin Educators Association Council - aka the teacher's union aka the Bad Guys [1] joined a lawsuit [2] questioning the legality of the school. The local court found for the defendant (hooray) the appeals court for the plaintiffs (boo) which then tossed the matter up to the State Supreme Court.

Things get mucky at this point; the State won't meet until after the beginning of the next school term. The Department of Education [1] announced that since everything was all helter-skelter there was no way they could send the funds to the charter school because, you know, it's legality was up in the air.

Which left our Heroes in a precarious position. A friendly legislator enacted legislation that would fix all of the problems that the court had found with the current law, plus answer all of the problems that the Governor [1] had with the same legislation in the last session.

The forces of evil gathered and summoned their minions. Feathers flew, the dust was thick, the People were heard from in great numbers, compromise was reached. It was pretty much as epic a battle as you could find in Lord of the Rings, but instead of dark riders and millions of orcs the bad guys had money and bought politicians.

For my money, well meaning bureaucrats and lobbyists are easily the equal to armies of goblins and orcs.

At any rate a compromise was reached - this is politics - and generally speaking this is a big win for the children of Wisconsin. [4] We now joint the press release, in progress ...

From Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual Familes

April 7, 2008

We've received word that Governor Doyle intends to sing SB396, the virtual school rescue bill, this afternoon during a small, invitation only ceremony at the Capitol. Our bill will be among several that are expected to be signed at that time.

This is not a public event where our physical presence is required, but we wanted to get this important news to you this morning.

We are extremely glad that legislators of both parties finally worked together and that, with the leadership of Representative Brett Davis, and Senators John Lehman and Luther Olsen, this bill enjoyed near unanimous support and will be signed into law today.

As you know, we opposed the imposition of the enrollment cap, demanded by the Governor, which will soon become law along with the other provisions of the bill. However, the legislation's good far outweighs its bad. Today is a day for each and every Coalition member to rejoice. This educational innovation will now be allowed to continue to grow and thrive in Wisconsin. We came all the way back from the brink of closure after the December Appeals Court Ruling: Our schools have been saved.

While we will work together to address the enrollment cap and other important issues in the months and years ahead, today is a day to rejoice and celebrate a job well done. We were up against the State Teachers' Union, perhaps the most powerful special interest in Madison. After a couple of lengthy lawsuits, several variations of legislation, multiple public hearings, an 1,100 person rally and dozens of action alerts like this one, we can finally say, definitively...

We won.

Congratulations. Now, on behalf of the Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families, you are hereby empowered to give your kids a hug/high five/gold star from us!

Please note that my participation in all of this was limited; I went to a rally, I wrote letters, I pestered my assembly rep and senator. Older Monkey testified in front of the Assembly but that was all his doing - my input on what he said was limited to .. well saying 'good job' when I read what he wanted to say.

[1] Booing and hissing as in an old fashioned melodrama are appropriate at this point.

[2] Which, to be fair, was initiated by Concerned Citizens in the virtual charter school's home district. Though you never heard much from them, not even in WEAC's propaganda. [3]

[3] Things that make you go 'hmm'.

[4] Generally that phrase makes me itch. But consider that I gain nothing from this but the continued existence of my children's school. I am not a paid lobbyist nor a politician nor a bureaucrat.
blog comments powered by Disqus