This bill is full of really great ideas and backed by the best of intentions.
It is true there's a wide range of stakeholders in support of this bill.
All of them support better educational outcomes for kids, there's no doubt about that.
But I need to ask one question.
Where are the educators?
Where are the people that show up in schools every day to live up to the promises and expectations that you and I create in this chamber without the funding and the tools to deliver on them?
They're not here in support of this bill because I think they've seen failed promises before.
They're familiar with WASL, they're familiar with no child left behind.
Reluctantly, that's why I'll be voting against this bill, because I cannot look a first year teacher in the eye who just received a rif notice but is still going to the store after she gets out of class to buy school supplies with her own money, who will be grading papers late into the night and showing up early to educate the kids that you and I care so much about.
I cannot justify spending $4 million in state funds, dollars that could conceivably pay for the base salaries of 117 first-year teachers.
I can't vote yes and tell her that the promises that we're making to reform education will come with one more penny of state funding to back it up.
And I'm very disappointed to be able to say that.
Again, I think there are great ideas here, I think there are great aspirations, but to my mind they're aspirations and, sadly, that's why I can't support this bill today.
Thank you, Mr. president.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
The Text of Senator Marr's Speech
You can find it here.