Your statement today, after vetoing $56 million in school funding, says that your administration is committed to giving students a “world-class” education. Is there anyone who believes that you are a force for what is best for Iowa’s schools? Legislators debated and negotiated for months past any reasonable deadline to come up with the compromise that sat on your desk for weeks. Every school district in the state of Iowa told you that your proposal of 1.25% was inadequate. You chose late in the day before a three day weekend to announce this decision. The act of a bold leader?
Schools began their fiscal year yesterday not knowing how much money they would have to operate this year. Schools found out today that $56 million in spending that had been negotiated by their legislators will not be available to buy books, musical instruments, art supplies, technology, and other resources necessary to make our schools better. How does this move us towards “world-class” schools Mr. Governor?
You vetoed this bill today because you thought it would be buried before a three day weekend. Let me promise you that your act today will not be forgotten by Iowans. This is your legacy Mr. Governor. Whatever you believe your legacy to be, this is it. Today. Not only the act of vetoing this bill, but the timing and your lack of leadership during this entire process. That is your legacy.
You can say that you are not in favor of one time money. You can argue that you are a champion of business interests. But, you can not say that you are a leader when it comes to Iowa’s schools. I won’t let you do it. Iowans won’t let you do it. What is your agenda when it comes to public education Mr. Governor? Or, should I ask what ALEC’s agenda is when it comes to public education? Who are you listening to when it comes to public education in Iowa?
I wish I were shocked, but of course I am not. The young people of Iowa are too important to be forgotten over a three day holiday weekend. You did something political today. You made a political calculation. The decision was bad, the timing was cowardly, and only time will tell if it was politically savvy. I think you went 0-3 today Mr. Governor.
Patrick J. Kearney