The state’s Republican leadership shouldn’t view Initiative 42’s failure in Tuesday’s election as a victory. They should view it as disaster barely averted.
And they should view it as a directive: Hundreds of thousands of Mississippians are fed up with the state of our public school system and the level of funding the Legislature provides. They are so fed up they were willing to put really bad policy into the state constitution and usurp the elected Legislature’s power over the budget and education policy.
But the vote also should send a message to the state industrial-Democratic-education complex: You’re going to have to lay down your swords, break off the conspiratorial relationship with the Democratic Party and work with the Republican leadership, not fight every education initiative they bring forth. Funding may be public education’s major problem, but it’s not its only problem. Politics probably rates a close second.