Give Tony Evers credit for one thing: The State Superintendent of Public Instruction, which is the constitutionally-prescribed way of saying “the state’s chief educrat,” can spot trouble coming when it’s still a long way off.
Unfortunately, that’s about all Evers and the statewide public school bureaucracy get credit for in their campaign to head off school choice expansion. Let’s put it bluntly. Unable to defend the quality of its product, unable to make a respectable argument against parents choosing their children’s school, unable to advance any decent rationale for government enforcing an education monopoly, the public school empire resorts to the first and only tactic the Left can think of nowadays: Smear the competition.
As usual, Liberals find it scandalous when people who believe in a non-leftist idea support it financially. This time around, the smarminess of the attack on choice supporters contributing to Republican elected officials is enriched by the fact that the proprietor of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is an ex-PR hack for the Madison School District.
It’s disappointing that by the Legislature’s schizophrenic reasoning, freedom of choice in education must be expanded statewide, but must also be withheld from all but about one child per school district, and barely more than two in the budget bill’s second year.
But it’s possible to live with that, knowing the ludicrous caps can be lifted at just about any time by a Legislature with the backbone to liberate kids from the empire.
Tony Evers saw that coming before most others figured it out. And his empire’s self-defining hardball response may even hasten the arrival of the broader competition it fears most.