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Dayton sacrifices children on the altar of government unions, again

We have been asking you to support Opportunity Scholarships, tax credits that would empower low-income families to send their children to the school of their choice. We call it “choice.” Dayton calls it “vouchers” and a threat to the failing public schools that demand a solution like private scholarships.

“That is out,” said Senate Taxes Committee Chair Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes. “The governor didn’t want it. … These kids’ futures for now will be again sacrificed at the altar of the omnipotent special interests.”

I will be more explicit.

Dayton has been consistent for 6 years: he refuses to expand any opportunities for children that does not involve an expansion of the public sector (e.g. brings in dues revenue to the DFL and the far-left “Progressive” wing of the party, and expands government).

Dayton has also aggressively, shamelessly expanded the public sector in general, and government jobs. We are now at $46 billion for the biennium.

With a straight face, the governor told us that private-sector child care providers and personal care attendants (PCAs) needed the protection of a union, and issued an executive order that declared them “public employees” but only for collective bargaining.

And now Dayton has tanked Opportunity Scholarships and from what I hear this morning, is threatening to veto a very, very generous spending package for K-12 schools because the bill did not fund his signature pilot program that adds a new grade to our schools (E-12, not K-12).

I had hoped all that spending could be ransom money for the small children he wants to send to public schools, rather than stay at home or attend quality child care.

I predict, sadly, that Dayton will hold his breath until he turns blue, and get his way. He throws tantrums in negotiations, and it works.

Imagine if he tanked the K-12 bill, or even the whole session, over the pre-K issue. The demand that little kids, as young as three and four, go to our public schools.

That seems like a great opportunity for some pointed messaging about his character and his priorities.

If the Legislature cannot stand firm for our youngest children, what does this say about the GOP and DFL members who know this is wrong for children and wrong for our schools?

 

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