As I posted during the legislative session, there are more than a few reasons that vouchers are not the answer to helping the public education system help our schools. Although some dirty back room deals got the vouchers bill passed in the Utah Legislature by one vote, and various conservative groups across the nation are hailing it as a landmark, the idea is fundamentally flawed, and the politics behind it are untrue to the people of this state, a majority of whom do not support it in polls.
I have just returned from a UEA function I attended with my father. It is inspiring that despite huge odds, the people who know and love education are not willing to give up in the face of the adversity that is Utah. In fact, they have started a petition to gather at least 92,000 signatures from across the state, that would put this issue to Utah voters. It may be a close call...but every fight worth fighting usually is. Read about it in both the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune.
The group that is running this petition drive, called Utahn's for Public Schools, also has a website that will be up at www.utahnsforpublicschools.org.
This is democracy at its best. When the legislature does not represent the majority of the people, but blindly ignores their opinions and even votes (Curtis is a fantastic example...after nearly losing his last election he not only ignored what the people were trying to tell him but turned around to slap them in the face on voucher legislation), the only choice is for a groundswell of people to take it back to them and make them hear what the people have to say.
They may not have the dollars of Parents for Choice, but they do have the passion and the people, and a firm belief that public education is the greatest achievement and strongest foundation of a representative democracy.