Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Life Makes a U-Turn

Robert Holland from the Lexington Institute has a nice synthesis of of all the 2002 happenings favoring school choice beginning with the November 5 elections.


Jeb Bush's landslide re-election as governor of Florida secures what has become School Choice Central in the never-ending experiment that is American federalism. Arizona is the only other state that comes close to matching Florida in the array of public/private education choices offered families.

In addition, the shift of power in the Senate means Sen. Judd Gregg, New Hampshire Republican, a leading advocate of portability (public money following a child to a school of choice), is likely to take over as chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

Together, Mr. Gregg and House Education Committee Chairman John Boehner, Ohio Republican, could argue effectively that federally aided programs such as the mammoth Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) — currently up for reauthorization — should allow for increased consumer choice as an alternative to mindless bureaucracy.

On the House side, two significant reinforcements for the cause of choice at the level of national policy are Reps.-Elect Trent Franks, who played a key role as a state legislator in passage of Arizona's pioneering scholarship tax credit, and Tom Feeney, who as speaker of Florida's House filed the state's first full-fledged voucher bill in 1990.

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