With nationwide election results tallied, conservative voters are smiling. Pro-homosexual issues were defeated, and politicians are again reminded that change is in the air.
Even California’s school-voucher initiative, defeated by a 7-to-3 margin, is being considered beneficial by school-choice activists since it attracted so much national attention.
Along with the attention, it is also generating some action. Gov. Pete Wilson, in an effort to turn the education wars into an education solution, has created a panel to recommend school reforms. Assembly Speaker Willie Brown has proposed an “educational summit.” The California Teachers Association, after targeting more than $14 million to oppose the initiative, will create a “bold and comprehensive plan” to improve schools by focusing on issues such as reduced bureaucracy, parental involvement, and safety; president Dell Weber refers to the election outcome as a “wake-up call.”
On the other side, initiative backers across the nation are just as positive. “We’re going to go for November of ’94, and I’m confident that we’re going to be united,” says Alan Bonsteel, spokesman for Yes on 174. His group already has a couple of new initiatives filed with the secretary of state. The new proposals call for mandatory student testing and requirements that private-school teachers be college graduates.
Looking back on the campaign, Sara DiVito Hardman, director of Christian Coalition of California, says, “They bombarded us. It was a media blitz.” Explaining they were outspent at least 10 to 1, she points out that most of the opposition’s money was raised “by assessing the school teachers.”
Across the nation, school-voucher efforts are progressing. In New Jersey, the plans of Jersey City Mayor ...1
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