But sadly, fear of union power rather than leadership and courage seems to be motivating these legislators.
In 2010, a similar disappointment occurred in Illinois.
In a genuine breakthrough, a black Democrat in the Illinois state Senate, Rev. James Meeks, who happens to also be the pastor of Chicago’s largest Baptist congregation, introduced a school voucher bill.
The bill passed the Illinois senate and then died in the state House, with only 25 of 48 Republicans supporting it. It fell 12 votes short of the 60 it needed to pass.
This is not an across the board indictment of Republicans. Two Republican governors – Mitch Daniels in Indiana and Bobby Jindal in Louisiana – have spearheaded passage of school voucher programs in their states.
In a new Gallup poll, only 29 percent, an all time low, express “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in our public schools.
The Republican Party is supposed to be the party of freedom and limited government. No where are these principles more needed than in education, and no community needs it more than blacks.
At a time when our country and our poor communities are hurting so badly, any failure of leadership by those in the party of Lincoln is inexcusable.