I Congratulate Myself for Failing to Become a Lobbyist

I couldn’t be a lobbyist because I am essentially lazy. Though I do a lot of things and find myself perpetually overworked, I rarely do anything that doesn’t make sense to me on some level. If I can’t figure it out with minimal effort, I usually evict it from my attention. This I have in common with my students, the difference being that I’m older and I’ve read more books. An amazing number of things are easy to figure out when that’s the case.

What I don’t understand is the Mississippi Legislature. Lately, I’ve been reading their daily action reports with very little understanding of what they are up to. Soon I will evict this activity from my routine, I’m sure, a task much easier than evicting the legislators themselves from the job at hand.

They seem to spend a lot of time on boll weevils. I don’t know why. I haven’t been reading the bills. I’ve just been making up potential reasons in my mind. Boll weevils are a problem, no doubt, apparently an even greater problem than the fact that more than 10% of the state is unemployed.

Today I decided to take my legislative entertainment a step further and actually read a bill. The one that caught my eye had to do with the creation of a virtual school. I had not heard that we were planning to virtually educate children, so I found this interesting. We’re apparently even contracting their virtual education out since the bill mentions private providers. Yes, I see how that might be best. If cities can do better for themselves by paying private contractors to pick up the trash, why not the children too?

I must confess at this point that I don’t really have a judgment on the matter since I’ve read absolutely nothing else about this and don’t know what the reality of how it will be handled might entail. I teach online classes to college students. I’m not against them at all, and I even see the value in making a state curriculum available to home schoolers. This post isn’t about that.

It’s about item 5A: “The State Board of Education shall establish the Mississippi Virtual Public School beginning in school year 2006-2007.” They voted on it today. I love a political body with retroactive power.

Did we already have a Mississippi Virtual School? Is there a reason we would vote something in now to take effect four years ago? Maybe I should start paying more attention more often.

P.S. If you know the answer, it’s okay if you don’t tell me. I’ll probably have taken up a new hobby by the time I come back to read your comment.

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