OK, sorry about the sensational, blatantly false headline. Mayor Becker did not call for school vouchers. Nor is he likely to lead any effort to that effect because he is a liberal. He did, however, provide a solid argument that is consistent with arguments in favor of school vouchers. Here is what he said in his state of the city speech:
"The world is not going to stop changing because those of us in Racine find it uncomfortable or difficult to continue to adapt to a new world. The key to the future of our city is in doing everything we can to make education at all levels accessible. Whether is it K-12, technical, university, or on-the-job training, the people of Racine need to take advantage of educational opportunities unless they want to be on the bottom of the economic ladder. In addition, we must make our city attractive to others who can bring key skills and creativity to our community."
Becker is right to emphasize the importance of education and he is right again to say that we should make every effort to take advantage of educational opportunities and to make education more accessible.
One way to do exactly that is to allow Racine's families greater access to some of our many fine (and in some cases, financially distressed) private schools. School vouchers would do the trick.
Racine could be at the forefront of educational innovation, attracting educational entrepreneurs, families and future leaders with a one of a kind universal voucher system.
The mayor rightly criticized protectionism in his speech as he implores us to embrace globalization. Does he realize that he, other liberals, and the teachers union is fully engaged in educational protectionism? If he really wants educational improvements, he will have to take on the protectionists and begin to question his own protectionist philosophy.