I made a mistake.
For 15 sessions in the General Assembly, I have taken pride in studying and understanding the implications and impact of legislation that comes across my desk, especially on the most controversial issues. This time, I missed. The amendment on HB 1065 came to us for the first time on Monday, sometime after noon, in a six inch stack of paper that included about 50 bills, with multiple amendments.
On the floor, I listened to discussion. I heard what I believed to be a harmless measure providing that school boards may, but are not required, to give some portion of referenda funds to a charter. I voted yes.
In the 24 hours since this vote, I have heard from my constituents and public education supporters about the depth of their opposition to this amendment and their reasons why. Had I realized all of this, I would have voted NO. And, I did vote NO on the final bill.
I have always opposed the expansion of charter and voucher schools. I have stood with teachers and avidly supported public education for 15 years. I will continue to do that.
-Senator Karen Tallian (Ogden Dunes)