For better schools, don't overspend, overcome

Since I don't see many first-run movies today, because of the high prices and low quality, here's an older cinematic analogy to illustrate how Democrats and Republicans differ on the approach to government. Today's script comes from House Speaker Andrew Romanoff's state-wide education grandstanding tour. There's a 1992 movie with Daman Wayans titled Mo' Money. That seems to be the Democrats' answer for everything. Recent examples include Amendment 23 and Referendum C. Remember how Bill Owens, Bruce Benson, the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and almost all state Democrats promised us this would be the answer to Coloradoans' dreams? We'd see fully-funded schools, freshly-paved roads and highways, and they wouldn't be asking for another tax increase again.

But - surprise, surprise - in today's Rocky Mountain News, we're told to look for the premiere of "Amendment 23: The Sequel." That's because Romanoff sees these (gasp!) schools with bad sewer systems, unacceptable gym equipment, and golly-gee whillikers, that's not good enough for Colorado kids. And what would that mean for state government if this big-government pipe dream comes true? Mo' Money, Mo' Money, and Mo' Money in state coffers - and out of taxpayers' pockets.

It's painful to be right at times, and I was in my 2005 post about Democrats' almost insatiable appetite for taxing and spending. Romanoff also opines in this article: "Coloradans haven't been dared to dream about what their schools could be... There's a real appetite for this conversation."

Note to the Speaker: There already has been some dreaming (and doing) with educational alternatives in Colorado. Some parents have chosen to home-school their kids, and others have opted to send their kids to charter schools - where some have waiting lists in the hundreds, and sometimes thousands for kids to get accepted. Not to mention the push for educational vouchers, so parents (and not some state bureaucracy) could decide where their children would be educated.

But that doesn't set well with the Democrats biggest supporters, the CEA and teachers' unions. Remember what Rep. Mike Merrifield said about people who supported choice in education? "There must be a special place in hell for these Privatizers, Charterizers and Voucherizers. They deserve it!" Since Dems can't offend their biggest source of campaign contributions, they obey the CEA's marching orders.

Let me think about this: Liberal Democrats defend to the hilt a 'woman's right to choose' an abortion (also known as killing an unborn human being), but parents of living children don't have the right to choose where, how and by whom their kids are educated? Another example of liberal logic - the ultimate oxymoron.

Contrast the Democratic "Mo' Money" approach to the Clint Eastwood movie, Heartbreak Ridge. Eastwood plays Marine Sergeant Gunny Highway, whose three words about overcoming adversity best reflect my (and most conservative Republicans') approach to improving education: Adapt, Improvise, Overcome. Alternative schools such as Hope Online Learning Academy are using the Gunny's approach, giving disadvantaged kids an alternative to the failure of public schools.

But that doesn't tow the Dems' company line on education, so they have the Rocky Mountain News criticize Hope Academy . Publish a story about a non-public school succeeding? That's not in the big-government, big-education playbook, so they can't allow that to happen.

However, support is rapidly gaining for charter and online school alternatives. A recent Gallup poll showed 60 percent of adults polled favored charter school alternatives, and 40 percent approved of online choices. That's up from 42 and 30 percent respectively in a similar poll back in 2000.

Americans are increasingly fed up with the Mo' Money approach to government and education. Private-sector, free-market alternatives that adapt and improvise are (and always have been) the best ways to overcome challenges and promote positive change in America.