...the universal and ever-repeated argument in favor of free schools has been that the general intelligence which they are capable of diffusing, and which can be imparted by no other human instrumentality, is indispensable to the continuance of a republican government.
Horace Mann, Tenth Annual Report to the Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, 1846I'm borrowing the flavor Professor Cunningham's title of this final post before the election as he writes one more time on the massive amounts of dark money that have flooded into Massachusetts. He's right on all he said.
But democracy is on the ballot for another reason, as well.
We don't have schools in Massachusetts just for the good of the kids.
They're for that, no doubt, but as Horace Mann cites above and as I've referenced countless times from the bottom of the blog, we have schools so we can continue to have a democracy in Massachusetts.
If you're going to let everyone vote, you have to make sure everyone is able to make the decisions necessary to do that.
So you have to educate everyone: not just the kids whose parents can sign them up for things, or the kids in the towns where they can raise taxes enough to pay for the schools; not just the kids who speak English in kindergarten or the kids who don't need extra help to learn.
This isn't just Worcester's job, or Barnstable's job, or Pittsfield's job: the Constitution of the state clearly says that we are ALL responsible for ALL of the kids.
Now, you can not like that. That's up to you. Your argument then is not with me, though, but with the state constitution.
This is why the McDuffy lawsuit was found in favor of the plantiffs: it really is all of our jobs to educate all of our kids.
That means, though, that all of the kids in Worcester should be getting the same level of support as the kids in--pick a wealthy suburb--are.
And they aren't.
If you go in tomorrow, and you vote "yes" on Question 2, you're saying that we aren't able to do that. You're saying that we are not capable, as a state, of educating every child as well as every other child, and of giving every child the level of support that child needs to become part of our democracy. You're agreeing that the only option is an escape hatch out of schools for some kids, rather than supporting all of our kids.
Those other kids, those kids left behind, aren't, then, part of the great support we've constructed of democracy here in Massachusetts.
You aren't just ducking out on public schools if you do that.
You're ducking out on democracy.
Vote no on 2.