'An unfortunate development'
Teachers unions and their traditional allies filed suit against Amendment 9 two weeks ago, but they aren't the only ones taking issue. A couple of prominent education researchers also see something wrong here.
Jay Greene and Frederick Hess can hardly be accused of being fellow travelers. Greene is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Hess directs education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. But neither are fans of the "65 percent solution." And neither likes the way Amendment 9 – pushed by Jeb Bush stalwarts on the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission - melds the 65 percent idea with a different policy issue involving vouchers.
"It confuses the issues (and voters)," Greene, best known in Florida for his research regarding vouchers, told the Gradebook via email. Two years ago, Greene laid out his objections to the 65 percent idea in this piece in National Review.
Hess also tore into the 65 percent solution two years ago. He told the Gradebook it's "highly unfortunate" that Amendment 9 has linked 65 percent and vouchers.
"The irony here is that 65% - which is probably a bad substantive idea – is being used with the aim of carrying the voucher proposal, which I find a good idea but one that tends to fare poorly in referenda," Hess wrote in an e-mail. "So while I understand the tactical politics, I think it is an unfortunate development."
- Ron Matus, state education reporter