Why Not Tweens, Ten-Year-Olds, and Toddlers?

Early voting is underway for Santa Fe Public Schools’ $100 million bond request, which will fund “high school facilities for programs in the applied sciences such as sustainable technologies, autotech, welding, science labs and more,” “construction of a new comprehensive middle school offering a greater variety of academic, extracurricular and arts programming,” and expansion of “energy and water conservation initiatives.”

The district admits that approval does indeed mean a property-tax increase — $80 a year, for a home with a $300,000 market value. But given the way that New Mexicans reflexively support any expenditures peddled as good for “the children,” don’t be surprised when voters, who can cast ballots until February 7, okay the bond.

If Rep. Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque) has his way, bond approvals for “education” might become even more automatic. His HB 99 permits sixteen-year-olds to vote in school elections. Seriously.

It’s bad enough that government schools, at all levels, use taxpayer dollars to lobby for higher taxes and more spending. But sixteen-year-olds would be particularly susceptible to Big Education’s propaganda.

Throw in the fact that sixteen-year-olds don’t produce much of the revenue that covers their schools’ costs, and HB 99 should be of concern to all New Mexicans working for fiscal accountability, as well as school choice.

Martínez has garnered predictably positive coverage from The New York Times. The folks who’ll pay the bills for HB 99 might see his legislation differently.