In a surprising move (to me), Utah voters have rejected a school choice plan that would have created education vouchers for families who wanted to attend private schools and simultaneously increased funding for public schools. The vote wasn't even close:
Utah citizens voted down the voucher plan by 62% to 38%. That is too bad--educational choices by parents for their children is an important concept--but not surprising. While there are successful school choice programs operating in Milwaukee, Cleveland and Washington, 10 state referenda on various voucher proposals have been defeated since 1972, including two defeats each in California, Michigan and Colorado.
One reason for these defeats has been the work of the teachers unions, which oppose school choice of any kind because it limits their power. Passage of the Utah school choice statute earlier this year prompted a union call to arms. The national teachers unions went to war in Utah and won.
A very unfortunate turn of events, and surprising because I think the population is decreasingly trusting of unions in general. Introducing producer competition to the education system/industry improves education for students everywhere that it's tried. Either teachers' unions are more concerned with their own power than with educating students, or their leaders are unable to comprehend the statistics.