...by Phil Kadner. In a column last week, Kadner took Gov. Jim Edgar to task
for excoriating Dawn Clark Netsch about her support for a tax swap as a means of education funding reform only to later propose essentially the same thing himself. Edgar's proposal itself died in the Republican Senate, and our schools are still inequitably funded to this day.
When Kadner raised the issue at Edgar's (un)announcement last week, the former Governor had this to say:
Edgar said that people who support school funding reform should not presscandidates for governor to take a pledge in support of a tax hike.
On the other hand, any candidate who pledges not to raise taxes should be taken to task for making a promise that he might not be able to keep once he realizes thebudget problems faced by the state.
I am a sponsor of House Bill 750 and 755 which strive to implement essentially the same concept. And while I have acknowledged that the bill may not be perfect, I still have not seen anything concrete brought forward by any of the dissenters that would address the issue.
But where I'm going is, if you agree that we need to fix the way we fund our schools, how do we get there without a showing of some political fortitude? As recently as last week, I spoke at a town hall meeting in my district and explained my position on this issue. And even those in attendance whose net tax burden would increase showed an openness to the fact that something must be done. I represent a relatively well-off district, and people are still being property-taxed out of their homes because of the local burden of school funding.
And before the are any (justified) rants about school district bureaucracy, let me further focus the issue. If you think that the state's share of education funding should be increased, how do we accomplish that?