Quin’s right to point out Alabama’s Robert Bentley as an exception to the growing trend of conservative governors pushing education reform pointed out in my column this week. Bentley deserves every ounce of scorn he’s getting for knuckling under to the unions. And while we’re in the midst of handing out demerits, I’ll also nominate Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.
Around the same time that Bobby Jindal’s education reform package in Louisiana was doing its victory lap, Brewer vetoed a huge expansion of school vouchers in the Grand Canyon State with an explanation that defies exegesis:
… Brewer, while describing herself as a long-time advocate of school choice—citing other legislation she has signed promoting educational competition—also said “there is a careful balance we have to maintain.”
“We must enhance educational options wherever we can, but we must also ensure that government is not artificially manipulating the market through state budget or tax policy that would make an otherwise viable option so unattractive that it undermines rational choice in a competitive market,” the governor explained.
Impenetrable. This reads like a veto statement by James Joyce.
Obviously Brewer didn’t want to deal with the backlash from the educational establishment, so she sold out the members of the state legislature who were brave enough to take up the fight. How folks like Bentley and Brewer can look their state’s schoolchildren in the eyes is beyond me.