Sid Salter: Ends do not justify means with Initiative 42

As I assess Initiative 42, I do so as the son of career educators, as a parent who sent his child to public schools, and as a grandparent of children still attending public schools.

So when shills for Initiative 42 attempt to couch the conversation as “you’re either for the children or against the children” — which they consistently have done during this debate — I wince. Because the argument they offer is in truth that for Initiative 42 “the end justifies the means.”

Full funding for MAEP is a noble intention and one I’ve long supported. I still support it — but not by any means necessary and not at the expense of the rest of the legitimate and necessary functions of state government. I don’t support it at the expense of jettisoning fundamental separation of powers in state government, nor at the expense of not having my elected representatives exercise their judgment in the budget-building process.

Because to implement full funding of MAEP through constitutional amendment and to essentially hand appropriations authority for public education to the courts rather than the Legislature in perpetuity is simply bad public policy.

Clarion Ledger
10/17/15