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Gov. Scott Walker and the courageous state Senate Republicans struck a massive blow for education reform and quality schools by their passage of the restrictions on collective bargaining. Now it will be possible, in Wisconsin, to limit teacher tenure — discharging bad ones and promoting good ones. Merit pay, rewarding great teachers with big salaries, will follow. And, should layoffs be needed, we will be able to keep our best teachers regardless of seniority.
Nationally, Walker’s courage impairs the power of the teachers union and undermines the stranglehold it has on our politics. His initiatives, we hope, will spread throughout the nation.
But all will hinge on the coming recall elections. It now appears likely that the Democratic senators will never return to the State Capitol in Madison. They will probably not return to allow passage of the rest of Walker’s program, but will focus instead on their efforts to recall the Republican senators and Walker himself.
In turn, the Republicans will file recall petitions against the absent Democratic state senators who have been AWOL throughout. Sometime between July and October, the recall elections will be held, and we will see who wins.
Thus, in effect, Wisconsin is going to put the issue to a statewide referendum through the device of recall elections.
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