"Mike, you're so smart about small schools," he would usually begin. "Why can't you see how good vouchers would be for Chicago?" He obviously had a different vision of small schools than I did. But on the voucher issue, I finally grew tired of arguing and said, " Look Herb, you're arguing with the wrong guy. Go down to Springfield and talk to your Republican pals in the legislature (at the time, they were the majority). If they really wanted vouchers, there would be vouchers."
This week's defeat of Sen. Meeks voucher bill proved my point. While the unions were attacked from the right for driving the bill's defeat, many downstate Republicans also voted no, enough to kill the bill. According the Crain's Greg Hinz:
Of the 48 GOP members of the House, only 29 ever were listed on the tote board as voting "yes." Four of them fell off the roll-call at the last second, as it became clear the bill was going to fail.That means at least 19 — four in 10 — went south on what supposedly is a seminal issue for the Republican Party.One reason for the Republicans bailing on the bill, according to Hinz -- they "likely were stampeded by the 'slippery slope' argument spread by the unions: Chicago today, the rest of Illinois tomorrow. And others surely relied on that old Springfield bromide: What's in it for me?"
In other words, vouchers were okay for those schools and those kids in Chicago, but not in our districts. And you know what those & our means.