In a Las Vegas Sun cover story in today’s paper, Democrat Senate Minority Leader Steven Horsford “lamented the failure to pass his education reform bill, which would have brought sweeping change to the education bureaucracy while introducing merit pay and other reforms.” The Majority Leader told the paper that “the state’s flagging education system is evidence enough that fundamental reform is necessary.”
The senator’s bill passed in the Senate, but was killed by the teachers union….er, I mean the state Assembly (owned lock, stock and barrel by the teachers union). Horsford said the bill was stalled by “resistance to change” – which we all know is code for “the teachers union.”
The interesting thing here is that it’s conservatives who are usually highlighting the fact that our public education system sucks and who are calling for serious reforms. It’s conservatives who are open to, not resistant to, change. So if Sen. Horsford REALLY wants some “fundamental reform” to education, perhaps he should reach out to conservatives in the Legislature instead of trying to pass his bill with only Democrat votes.
And he should start with Assemblyman Ed Goedhart (R-Amargosa Valley), who introduced a bill this session – the Excellence In Education through Increased Opportunities Act (EIEIO) that never even got a committee hearing, let alone a recorded vote – which would provide parents with education tax rebates they could use toward tuition at private and parochial schools.
A Horsford-Goedhart education reform bill would have an EXCELLENT chance to pass in 2011. Two rising political stars. One Democrat/one Republican. One liberal/one conservative. One black/one white. One urban/one rural. One senator/one assemblyman.
If conservative U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn and liberal then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama could come together on a bill to provide greater online transparency for how the American taxpayers’ money is being spent, why couldn’t/shouldn’t Sen. Horsford and Assemblyman Goedhart collaborate on the greatest education reform effort this state has ever seen? And what’s wrong with a joint reform effort to both improve the public schools as well as provide parents the option and means to choose private schools? Why, it’s as American as apple pie!
So let it be written; so let it be done.