Rep. Steve Hickey observed on Facebook that during Thursday's committee hearing, HB 1234, Governor Dennis Daugaard's package of education reforms, "was referred to as a botched meatloaf. Nothing they add would make anyone want to eat it."

According to yesterday's poll by that Sioux Falls paper, not many South Dakotans want a taste of that meatloaf:

Online poll on HB 1234, Daugaard's education reform package, 2012.02.2487.7% disapproval. Review the poll archive, and you'll find the Governor's education ideas are less popular than the Oglala Sioux Tribe's lawsuit against Budweiser. 87.7% is a larger percentage than those who support Rep. Deelstra's sensible county cremation bill (which passed unanimously! Nice work, Bob!) That's a larger percentage than those who think changing the state flag is unnecessary. That's larger percentage than the Republican supermajority in the State Senate.

87.7% disapproval. Flip to the 12.3% approval, and you find Governor Daugaard's education proposals are just slightly more popular than Congress. As John Thune and Kristi Noem keep reminding us, that kind of approval rating means your support is down to blood relatives and paid staffers (which in Pierre is pretty much the same thing, right?).

The number who voted in yesterday's online poll, 1387, was more than double the average turnout for that Sioux Falls paper's polls. A lot of people give a darn about HB 1234, and darn few want it to pass.

My petition asking the Legislature to chuck HB 1234 and convene a task force to study education now has gathered 2200 signatures in nine days. Please realize, that's more signatures than I would need to run for Congress in South Dakota... as a Republican.

One of Rep. Hickey's Facebook friends says that "if the education lobby is against it, it must be a good bill for the taxpayer." Yet Rep. Hickey himself is among fourteen Republican legislators expressing everything from reservations about to outright opposition to HB 1234.

Well-known Republican, school board member, and District 4 House candidate Fred Deutsch doesn't want to eat Governor Daugaard's meatloaf, either:

As good intentioned as the bill is (to raise academic achievement) we have real concerns it will undermine the foundations of our collaborate success and lead to the opposite of what's desired. I have no doubt some schools could benefit from HB1234, but not [Watertown]. It would make creating environments of academic success more difficult [Fred Deutsch, blog comment, Madville Times, 2012.02.24].

Almost nobody likes HB 1234. Legislators keep dropping the meatloaf on the floor, then throwing the same stale, crummy bits back in the pan with more lint from the floor and generic ketchup on top.

Don't serve this garbage to your kids. Hit the crackerbarrels today, tell your legislators to throw HB 1234 out... and then let's get together this summer to grill up some real solutions!