Gubernatorial appointments circumvents rights of the electorate

TRACKSIDE © by John D’Aloia Jr.

January 21, 2003

How can we give up a bit of freedom today? Grab hold of what you have, for once again the Kansas legislature is in session. Right out of the chute a proposal has been made to take away some of your right to have a say in how you are governed. Senate Concurrent Resolution 1601 asks the legislature to put to a public vote an amendment to the state constitution that would reduce by one the number of members of the state school board - maybe a good idea, no more tie votes - but, and this is the proverbial big but, the state school board would no longer be subject to the pleasure of the electorate because they would be appointed by the governor, not be elected by citizens.

If you thought the education system was politicized now and controlled by Clerks and socialistic unions, wait until the governor can pack the state school board with cronies and educrates. Good-bye debate and any chance for checks and balances in the system, hello greased skids for the education establishment’s latest fads and tax dollar black holes. The proponents of an appointed state school board are telling you that they have a Guardian complex, a monopoly on wisdom, knowledge, and expertise. They are telling you that they know better than you how your child should be educated. As far as they are concerned, the less chance you have to call them to account, the better.

But wait, you say, SCR1601 does require that the governor’s appointments be confirmed by the Senate. The confirmation process provides checks and balances to a reaching and grasping governor, does it not? Think again. Have you ever watched the confirmation process in action in Topeka? Think rubber stamp.

SCR1601 was introduced by a Republican senator at the request of constituents. I do hope the good senator did it as a courtesy, but still believes in the 6th Stanza of the Republican Creed: "I believe the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people." Amending the state’s constitution as proposed by SCR1601 yanks a portion of state government further out of the people’s reach, reducing the representative nature of our state government and creating another fiefdom in the King’s court. Thomas Jefferson warned against the inexorable growth of government in 1788 when he wrote: "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." This is exactly what SCR1601 accomplishes.

The Founders created a constitutional republic form of government, not a monarchy or an autocracy or an oligarchy. Their creation was based on the belief that government served the will of the people, not a will determined by a ruling elite but the will as expressed in open political debate and elections, always constrained by and conforming to the Constitution. In his "Notes on the State of Virginia," Jefferson wrote: "Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories." SCR1601 is evidence that there are some who believe that citizens are incapable of making electoral decisions on vital interest issues.

The education of their children is a parental vital interest. Seeing to the education of their children is a God-given duty that rests on every parents’ shoulders, a duty that they cannot slough off on government. Government schools that actually educate and are responsive to parental requirements are one way that the duty can be discharged, but what goes on in all too many of today’s government schools is not education and is working at cross purposes to what parents want for their children. Is it not amazing that the Guardians can demand the "right" of choice for mothers to kill their unborn babies but fight tooth and nail to prevent parents from having a say in their children’s education and the right to choose where and how their children are educated. The Guardians, filled with pride and a belief that they are omniscient and omnipotent, reject God’s Law as they try to create their vision of a secular humanist Utopian society in which they have absolute control. What they want is unattainable precisely because they reject God. Their beliefs can lead only to the erosion of freedom and the development of a tyranny.

SCR1601 would make more sense if it was amended to eliminate the state school board and state department of education, in keeping with Jefferson’s conclusion (and Republican belief,) leaving education solely in the hands of parents, and if they chose to have them, local school boards. And while we are wishing, let us wish the feds out of their dictatorial role in education.

See you Trackside.


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