Thursday, March 15, 2007

Some Thoughts About the Voucher Referendum

Given the recent voucher controversy and current referendum effort, here are some things that I think about the referendum:

  1. There is a lot of misinformation about the referendum -- It is simply about putting the issue to the voters. There clearly was tremendous pressure put on legislators this year to pass HB148 by a number of sources, including the Utah County block and special interests (some of which are pouring money in from outside the state). I suspect, as do many others, that what was passed is not what the people want. The referendum simply lets the voters make the choice.
  2. I think there are at least two reasons there is a huge push to try and stop the referendum. First, the voucher supporters fear they may lose in an election. Second, it was much easier to strong arm a relatively few number of legislators. It will be much more difficult, and much more costly to try and convince thousands of voters.
  3. If we think things have gotten nasty with all the recent quarreling through the press and blogs about vouchers, we may not have seen anything yet. If enough signatures are gathered to allow the referendum to go to a vote, it will be very interesting time seeing how the discussion proceeds. I'm not expecting it to be particularly civil.
  4. If you would like to see the voucher on the ballot so you can voice your opinion through your vote, the time to sign is now. There is a very limited time for signatures to be gathered. Every PTA in the state should have a signature sheets. Contact your local PTA president and ask where it is and get your signature. It is important to realize that not all PTA presidents may be against vouchers and may not be actively seeking signatures. Be proactive and seek them out.

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