May 2, 2008

Sins die

Sine die* is one of the few Latin expressions known or used in the Florida statehouse, and it marks the end of a session (technically adjourning indefinitely). 6pm EDT was the scheduled close, and when the traditional handkerchief dropped a few minutes afterwards, the legislature had wreaked havoc on the state budget, blown apart the merit-evaluation process for $85 million in start-up funds for large research centers, ... but failed to act on two foolish educational ideas, one the misnamed "academic freedom" bill that would undercut the science standards and the other a constitutional proposal that would strip the state's Board of Governors of all authority to manage the state's universities except what the legislature deigned to give it.

In both cases, there was a broad array of opponents, though the bill to undermine science standards was far closer to passage. In the case of university governance, the state's university faculty were joined by the editorial boards of major daily newspapers, the state's Chamber of Commerce, a business development group called the Council of 100, and a former private-university president who is now a state-house representative. Everyone who opposed the proposal deserves credit for killing it.

* The pronunciation is commonly "sigh-nee die," though purists would probably prefer "sin-ay dee-ay." I still like "sins die," but maybe that's because I'm now completing my 12th year in Florida.

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Posted in Education policy on May 2, 2008 8:37 PM |