There's a lot of egg on the face of the GOP leadership and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna these days.
It was almost historic that the education bill got rejected. That meant there were enough GOP senators who actually thought about what they were doing and took to heart what the voters had said at the last election, to join with the small number of always-in-opposition Democrats and defeat the largest budget proposal of the session.
For too long, Luna and the legislature have been trying to break the back of public education. Their model has been the charter school -- a functionally public-funded private school. But charter schools not only can't make it on their own (the model is failing for a quarter of them just seven years into the experiment), it now looks like they're going to need even more money from state taxpayers to keep operating. Every dime spent on a charter school is one less dime spent on a public school.
Maybe, just maybe, some of the thinking members of the GOP are seeing that and starting to believe that actually supporting public education may help the kids there. It's just starting, but that's a fresh new breeze blowing out of the legislature.
-- Kelly Everitt