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The Homeschooling Revolution



November 04, 2004

Ballot Questions: Democracy and Mob Rule

There were so many referendums to keep up with during this election. One I was not aware of (until Judy Aron pointed it out) was R-55 in Washington state. The Washington Natural Learning Association was opposed to it and issued this statement:

"R-55 was soundly reject by 58% of the vote. Charter schools have been defeated for the 3rd time. WNLA would like to thank all voters who helped to keep charters out of Washington by rejecting R-55. If supporters take charters back to the legislature this spring, WNLA will be there to help in the effort to keep Washington free of charters."

Contact them if you desire to further understand their opposition.

In Oklahoma, State Question # 705 overwhelmingly passed, which means the birth of the Oklahoma State Lottery Education Act. Gag.

In a nutshell: "It creates the Oklahoma Lottery Commission. The Commission will be governed by a board of trustees. The Commission will operate a state lottery. The board will write rules regarding the conduct of lottery games. At least 45% of the revenue from ticket sales will be returned as prizes. The net proceeds of the lottery will be used for education purposes."

Although Oklahoma is a bastion of evangelical Protestanism, it is also a state where over 90% of the residents choose public schooling over private education and where the number #2 employer is state government. Perhaps that explains why a pro- gambling education gambit would pass in a state full of folks who would deem it a sin to roll the dice at Vegas.

Another thot: This year, I have lived in Massachusetts, Montana, and Oklahoma (phew!) - the latter two had constitutional initiatives aimed at defining marriage as a one-man and one-woman union. Both overwhelmingly passed. Altho Middle American places that believe in public education as lustily as MT and OK do (and also have high taxes and are not donor states), don't pass my 'anti-statist litmus test,' the so-called gay agenda is very unpopular in these states. In that sense, they are not especially progressive places. So I view the success of these anti-gay marriage ballot questions, not only as a vote against the Mass. Supreme Court's ruling on the Goodridge case, but as a 'thumbs-down' on John Francois Kerry de Heinz who represents that iconic bete noir known as the East Coast liberal (more specifically, the Northeast Corridor left-winger).

You could conclude that the national election, for many folks, became a referendum against Massachusetts-style liberalism. A lucky break for the former Easterner - W.