Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Utah Voucher Vote Follows Usual Script for Initiatives

December 11, 2007 1 min read

To the Editor:

Jeanne Allen, the president of the Center for Education Reform, claims that school vouchers were rejected by voters in Utah because “ballot initiatives on such emotional issues as education rarely succeed when they’re looking for dramatic change, because people are uncomfortable with making policy at the ballot box” (“Utah’s Vote Raises Bar on Choice,” Nov. 14, 2007). Those of us who live in or pay attention to states with citizen-initiative procedures know that Ms. Allen’s contention is laughable.

In Oregon several years ago, voters radically transformed the state’s land-use law, a deeply emotional issue in that state. This year, they transformed it again. Also in Oregon, voters approved an initiative allowing doctor-assisted suicide. It’s hard to find a more emotional issue than legal suicide.

In Washington state, voters have used initiatives to change tax policy and land-use laws in recent years, as well as to approve the medical use of marijuana.

California voters have approved so many policy initiatives in the last decade that the list would be longer than the space allowed for a letter, including one banning bilingual education in California’s public schools and another providing $3 billion for embryonic-stem-cell research. Some emotion in these issues, yes?

Obviously, there are tens of millions of voters in these three states alone who show no reluctance in making policy at the ballot box on emotional issues.

David Marshak

Bellingham, Wash.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Data Analyst
New York, NY, US
New Visions for Public Schools
Project Manager
United States
K12 Inc.
High School Permanent Substitute Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read