League members figure prominently
Proposition 174 may have been defeated in California, but the curtain has been raised on a new group vowing to keep the issue of school choice before the voters. According to Catholic News Service, Americans for School Choice plans to organize successful school choice ballot initiatives in at least five states in 1994, with eight more states to be added in 1995.
Many of the supporters of Americans for School Choice are old friends of the Catholic League. Among those listed as Americans for School Choice board members are former Secretary of Education William Bennett, former Vatican ambassador Thomas Melady, noted constitutional attorney William Bentley Ball and retired Minnesota Court of Appeals Chief Judge D.D. Wozniak (see photo, story, pg. 15). Melady and Ball are former members of the League’s national board of directors and Judge Wozniak currently serves on the Board of the League’s Minnesota Chapter. Mr. Bennett was a recipient of the League’s prestigious John Paul II Award.
Board members include prominent Democrats and Republicans, sending the clear signal that school choice is not a partisan issue.
Among the board members are State Rep. Polly Williams, a Democrat from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who created the nation’s first working school choice plan and Republican governor Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin who signed her bill into law.
Financial decisions for the new organization will be made by a board of trustees, each of whom will have contributed at least $25,000 to the organization.
Joanne Orlowski, national coordinator of Citizens for Educational Freedom welcomed the creation of Americans for School Choice.