State Watch

New England’s Blue-State Blues

By 7.25.14

They call it the “Texas Miracle,” though California doesn’t think there’s anything heavenly about it. Texas’s economic boom, driven by low taxes and a business-friendly regulatory climate under the cocksure leadership of Governor Rick Perry, is the envy of the rest of the country. There’s a running joke that California’s biggest export is its own people, headed straight for the Lone Star State.

But it’s not just California that has the blue-state blues. Outside the West Coast, the most cerulean part of the country is the Northeast, and specifically New England, the six-state region once bound together by Puritan values, now bound together by mandatory sex education classes. But while New England has embraced looser social values, economically it’s a case study in high taxes, obscene spending, and coercive regulations.

Job Fears Motivated Education Reform in MA?

By on 1.7.10 | 11:08AM

Massachusetts is poised to pass a broad reform of education policy that would expand the role of charter schools. After a long legislative session that ended in the early hours of the morning, the reform bill passed the House and now only needs to be marked up in conference before going to Deval Patrick's desk to be signed into law.

Why the sudden urgency to increase school choice in a deep blue state? The answer seems to be that the Obama stimulus bill included a number of funds dedicated to financing state school system reforms that stipulated that the measures must be designed and passed by mid-January in order to be eligible. This proviso has nothing to do with education policy; instead it was designed to hasten job creation. By giving state lawmakers an incentive to get the reforms done quickly, the ARRA is supposed to have a greater stimulative effect for jobs earlier on.