I know I shouldn’t smile, but . . .

by David Safier

I never thought I'd write these words, but . . . Poor John Huppenthal! There, I did it.

Our Ed Supe wants a measly $32 million to upgrade the state's educational data system. He says the current system is horribly outdated, with a 50% reliability rate. A new system will increase the effective use of student data by our schools and probably save money at the same time. And who knows, he may be right.

Now, all Hupp has to do is go begging to his former colleagues, the Republican legislative majority. Unfortunately, his tight-fisted buddies are not an easy sell.

State Sen. Rich Crandall, R-Mesa, for instance, says he sympathizes, but what if the system still doesn't work well? Some Democrats say they're on Hupp's side, but that's not worth much. And Andrew Morrill, president of the Arizona Education Association, wants assurances the data will be used in ways that help students before he backs the plan.

Then there's Brewer, who had promised to spend $6 million a year on the improvements, no more.

When Hupp first became Ed Supe, he said he hadn't been willing to spend the money on a computer upgrade when he was in the lege, but now that it's his department, well, he realizes how wrong he was. All he has to do is convince other Republicans to see what he failed to see when he was in their place.

The phrase "Karma is a bitch" comes to mind.