Legislature to Pataki: Bite me!
Outgong Governor George Pataki called the state legislature back into session this week. He dangled pay raises in front of them in exchange for confining sex offenders after their prison terms are served and lifting the cap on charter schools.
Confining sex offenders after they are "released" from prison is a hot topic. On paper, it makes sense for a conservative to want it, because it looks "tough on crime", especially the crime-of-the-month. But if we really want to keep sex offenders off the street, why not just increase the prison sentences?
We have reached the current limit of 100 charter schools statewide Despite lower enrollment of special education and "ELL" (English language learner) students in charter schools, there is no added benefit to most students. Meanwhile, the 98% of students who don't get in to a charter school are being squeezed into smaller spaces with fewer resources. Adding more charter schools will just exacerbate the problem without providing any kind of solution.
Pataki wanted both of these things passed and, knowing how justly unpopular they are, tried to bribe the legislature with a pay raise. Fortunately, the legislature effectively told him to take a long walk off a short pier.