Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blagojevich, Day Two

Alyson Klein of Education Week's Campaign K-12 blog offers up a post reporting that the Illinois Education Association -- the state's NEA affiliate -- is calling for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's resignation, following his arrest on corruption charges yesterday ('Illinois Governor Arrested on Corruption Charges'). Join the club.

Alyson's blog post underscores the education-related point I made in my post yesterday: that Blagojevich was decent with respect to providing funding for education, but not tackling vexing reform issues.

If Blagojevich is ousted from his post because of the allegations, it doesn't sound like education organizations in the state will miss him much.

"According to our members it would not be a huge blow," said Ben Schwarm, an associate executive director for the Illinois Association of School Boards. He said some districts had been angry with Blagojevich for his refusal to support a dedicated funding mechanism for education, although he did acknowledge that schools had gotten spending increases during the governor's tenure.

Ken Swanson, the president of the IEA, agreed that Blagojevich had been "a roadblock" to educators' push to get a designated revenue source for schools. The union endorsed neither the governor nor his opponent during Blagojevich's 2006 re-election bid.

Here's the IEA statement.

Oh, by the way, happy birthday, Rod!

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