Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why Does the Journal Sentinel Hate Voters?

By Lisa Kaiser
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The Journal Sentinel has just printed an editorial bemoaning the fact that the new school board president, Michael Bonds, proposed a number of changes that did not pass by a majority of the board. The Journal Sentinel was highly critical of one of Mr. Bonds' proposals and also pointed out that the board president even ended up voting against one of his own ideas.

Because of these votes, the Journal Sentinel went back to their naďve solution to all of MPS’ problems: take the power from the voters to elect the board and have someone—the mayor, the governor, anyone—appoint the board. Yes, believe it or not, the Journal Sentinel wants to give taxing authority to a non-elected, non-accountable board.

The Journal Sentinel wrote, “The fact that only small changes were OK’d by the board proves that it’s time for a change of a different sort...and new members appointed.” Not only does the Journal Sentinel seem to be hostile to democratic rule, wanting to take the power away from the voters, but they don’t seem to understand the process of democracy. When the board president, who was elected by two-thirds of the board members just a month ago, has many of his proposals voted down it means that you have a group of independent board members voting for what they think will be best for the students. Not what the unelected Journal Sentinel editorial board wants, but what the elected individuals think is best. These are the people the voters choose to run the schools.

If the Journal Sentinel wants the leader to come in with proposals and the have board members fall in line and vote for them, they may want to look to North Korea or Iran as a model. Most good ideas take time and deliberation before they get passed. Mr. Bonds came in with a series of reforms; they were discussed and voted on. In these discussions, potential unintended consequences are discovered and the potentially good ideas can go back to the drawing board for refinement while the others are scrapped.

That is how the democratic process works, Journal Sentinel. It is messy, but it is much better than some group of appointees who supposedly have a monopoly on “how to run an urban school district” and make all of the decisions and set the tax rates.
—Louis Fortis

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