This morning’s lead editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer gets it right in its characterization of the push by state legislative leaders to plow ahead with their school voucher scheme despite the certainty of lengthy litigation over the issue and the existence of a court injunction against it:
“It really is time to stop calling those who run the N.C. General Assembly conservatives. They are not conservative. They are reckless.
There’s a long list of actions that demonstrates their disregard for what defines the truly conservative. They hand out extravagant amounts to the wealthy in tax cuts and leave the state strapped for basic services. They turn down billions of dollars in federal support for the jobless and the health needs of the working poor. They ignore the principles of sound investment by cutting spending on public schools and higher education. They trample constitutional ideals regarding voting rights and civil rights. They shirk their obligations to be careful stewards of the environment.
The list could go on, but the case is concisely illustrated in the latest turmoil over school vouchers.”
After explaining how the duo is trying to get the injunction overturned in spite of a letter from chief deputy attorney general Grayson Kelley that this would cause all kinds of unnecessary and potentially serious problems, the editorial concludes this way:
“Rather than accept the court’s order for a delay and Kelley’s concerns about going forward, the two Republican leaders are claiming that the injunction jeopardizes public funding for other state-supported education programs including private university scholarships, pre-kindergarten, Smart Start, aid to disabled and deaf children and Teach for America.
That is an extreme and alarmist reading of the injunction’s basis and a weak rationale for proceeding with vouchers without court approval. But on that basis, they’re willing to press for the launching of a potentially unconstitutional program at considerable cost and risk.
Reason and prudence would dictate a more cautious approach, but Tillis and Berger long ago showed they aren’t about being conservative.”
Amen. You can read the entire editorial by clicking here.