Governor Janet Napolitano has very different ideas about education reform from my own, but I have had to confess a grudging respect for her.
In 2006, she went down in history as the first Democrat governor to sign a new school voucher program into law. A few seconds later, she did it again, creating voucher programs for both students with disabilities and foster care children.
Now, as a part of her budget proposals, the Governor's office has proposed sweeping the accounts of funds despite the fact that hundreds of severely disadvantaged children are using these funds to attend school.
Let me be clear: the governors proposal would not only take away as yet unused funds. The proposal would also take away funds that children have been using to attend school, kicking some children out of the program.
We should not delude ourselves that this constitutes any savings to the state. Children stripped of scholarships will revert to the public school system, which will cost taxpayers more money than the scholarships they are given to attend private school.
With her signatures, Governor Napolitano created as much of an obligation to these children as the legislators who passed the bills. Nothing could be more cruel than to create an opportunity for a child and then to capriciously snatch it away.
Matthew Ladner, Ph.D., is vice-president of research at the Goldwater Institute.
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