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The Undercards Have the Greatest Impact on Public Schools

November 6, 2012

In boxing the undercard is the series of bouts before the main event… and in this election the undercards are far more consequential for public education than the Presidential vote because Obama and Romney have very similar perspectives on privatization albeit to different degrees. Diane Ravitch’s post lists several of the headline votes that she has been tracking, votes where there is a direct link between pro-privatization initiatives and/or candidates and money. Today’s NYTimes features an article on one of these headline races, the Georgia ballot initiative that seeks to establish a state level charter panel who could override local control on charter schools.

In fact, there is no way anyone could begin to list all of the votes that will be consequential in terms of public education. One that has been overlooked is the gubernatorial election in New Hampshire where Ovide Lamontagne, a tea party “soft-liner” is running against Maggie Hassan, a somewhat liberal Democrat. Both candidates took the pledge to not impose a broad base tax, but both have different ideas about where the revenue needs to come from and both have VERY different ideas about the direction public education should head… and THAT is consequential because they will have the ability to appoint the State Superintendent and the ability to enact or block an aggressively anti-public-education agenda put forth by the very conservative house— assuming the Tea Party Republicans retain control there. Finally, in New Hampshire there are ballot initiatives designed to undercut the judicial branch of government, eliminate any future broad based taxes, and call a constitutional convention, in large measure to gett rid of some nasty clauses that require the legislature to fund “an adequate education”.

New Hampshire is not the only state where the governor appoints the commissioner or state superintendent… and New Hampshire is not the only state where the composition of the legislature is up for grabs…. and New Hampshire is not the only state where there are ballot initiatives to stifle funding for schools. The undercards have consequences… Please vote to support public education!

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