Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The morning after in OZ

Owen at Boots and Sabers praises us in Mequon for voting "no" on a referendum to exceed school revenue limits. Owen writes:

This is great because the teachers’ union and school officials pulled out ALL of the stops to get this passed. They sent home multiple fliers with the kids (yes, that’s probably not legal). They put up signs, canvassed neighborhoods, bullied people who opposed it, drove supporters to the polls, sent absentee ballots to college students who don’t even live in Mequon anymore, and even scheduled the election for such an obscure day in February. They did EVERYTHING to get this passed.

I agree with everything that he says, but my conclusion is a bit different. They did not do the one thing that they needed to do and that is reach out to those who they did not feel were their natural allies. The brochure I got when they canvassed my neighborhood just assumed the need for more money. It basically said that the sky would fall in if they didn't have more money without even attempting to explain why it was so. There was a sense that they would have preferred that as few people as possible outside the "school community" knew this was happening.

I would hope that school districts get the message that passsing these referenda is going to require a lot more heavy lifting. Your natural constituencies will not get you over the top and you're going to have to explain just why it is that you haven't been able to live within the revenue limitations.

In other words, M-T did not do EVERYTHING that it needed to do. So it lost.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good point.