Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Senator Colin Bonini gets it right on the budget; big surprise: the rest of Leg Hall doesn't

Three caveats before I start:

1) I have never been a great fan of Senator Colin Bonini, despite the fact that many Libertarians in Delaware see him as one of the most Libertarian Republicans in the State. He's always been too much of a social conservative for my taste. I bring that up only to make the point that when I give him props, I seriously mean it. And with his vote to override on eminent domain, coupled with the information in this post--well, I have to admit that I may have been doing him a disservice.

2) I think the DSTP should be replaced. So that might make it sound paradoxical below when I argue about the nature of the DSTP cuts. However, read my argument with this sentence appended in your head: "As long as we have the DSTP on the books..."

3) I don't have the usual number of links in this story because either the Snooze Journal's website is too convoluted for this technopeasant or they're playing tricks with the stories. I can't find the story that appears on today's front page of the print edition. If I find it later, I'll update.

Here's the meat of the matter, and why as a Libertarian I generally don't trust government to get it right:

Among the cuts to public education made to balance the budget, our genius legislators decided to cut the funds for mandatory summer school, re-testing, and extra instructional services for students who fail one or more sections of the DSTP.

That's right: they decided to cut the budget that supports the poorest performing academic students. They left intact and untouched monies for all sorts of goodies for gifted and talented kids, all sorts of neat educational pork that qualifies as flash and glitter, and the bastards cut the funds for the kids who can't read, write, or cipher well enough to be promoted to the next grade.

You want to know what's worse? They did this in the epilogue of the bill, and weren't even going to debate it in public until Senator Bonini stepped up to the plate and brought it into the light.

So as soon as I get the complete list of legislators who voted to punish students performing poorly in school while leaving millions of dollars of untouched pork, I'm going to take a page from the book of Delaware Dem over at Delawareliberal [just replace all references to "eminent domain" and "SB 245" with "public education" and the "2009 budget" and you've got it]:

Do not dare say anything in any future campaign, whether it be this year or in 2010 or 2012, that in any way gives an implication that you were supportive of Senate Bill 245 or protecting the property rights of Delawareans. Your vote last night washed away any prior yes vote on Senate Bill 245 or any prior supportive statement of property rights.

I will be watching all future statements and campaign releases from you to make sure you tell the truth on this. And we bloggers get that politics isn’t easy. We are in it for the long haul. And we have terrific memories.


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