Wednesday, January 2, 2008

For Kansas City and Independence, the truth was self-evident

The Examiner reports on the celebration following the momentous shift of seven schools from Kansas City school district into the Independence school district, and how lawmakers and citizens reached across party lines and city boundaries to approve a redistricting for the benefit of students. The article notes that 97 percent of Independence voters were in favor of the redistricting, which makes sense given Independence stands to gain revenue and raise property values in the area. But Kansas City voters, who stood to gain little, had to agree with them solely on the virtue of giving children in those schools a better education—and they did: 84 percent voted in favor of the redistricting.

This was, in essence, a testament to how Missourians feel about education and choice. An overwhelming majority could tell that a quality education is more important than revenue, politics, unions, party lines and the status quo. They gave those children a better choice because nothing in this country is so important that the education of our children should be sacrificed for it.

When we erase our territorial lines and step around the walls that political parties build between one another, I believe our priorities will be startlingly similar and the solutions obvious. The article quotes Sen. Victor Callahan offering up a very appropriate quote for this victory of bipartisanship and for education,

"A philosopher said, 'At first, the truth is ridiculed, then it's questioned, and then it becomes self-evident,' " Callahan said. “The truth was self-evident."

As Missouri kicks off this next legislative season, hopefully this kind of leadership, priority and principled work will be commonplace, and divisiveness rare.

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