the separation of church and state, and I cannot sponsor nominees who advocate them.”
State Sen. Jeff Smith announced late yesterday he opposes keeping former opponent Derio Gambaro on the State Board of Education.
The move should come as no surprise: Smith expressed misgivings when Gov. Matt Blunt made the appointment in June. But, because the appointment came when the legislature was not in session, there was not much he could do about it.
Now that lawmakers have reconvened, the Senate – keeping with tradition of deferring to a nominee’s home senator – will follow Smith’s lead and undo the recess appointment.
Though Smith and Gambaro, both Democrats, tussled in the 2006 primary election, that doesn’t appear to have played much, of any, role.
Rather, it’s ideological differences: Smith is a fan of school choice, but only so far as charter schools go. Gambaro supports using tax credits to send children from failing districts to private or parochial schools.
Also, according to a release from Smith, Gambaro believes in the “consideration of religious theories of human origin in public school settings.”
“While I continue to support public school choice, “ Smith said in a statement, “I fear that the aforementioned positions may breach
Gambaro marks the second voucher proponent, following Donayle Whitmore-Smith that Smith has refused to support. Blunt has also nominated Debi Demien, who has a long history of supporting public money for private schools and Rev. Stan Archie, who also has a history of connection to private school interests, to the board.