A month ago I asked which party will miss Democrat Senate President Peter Groff more under Colorado’s Golden Dome.
Several days ago Senator Nancy Spence told me that Groff’s parting gesture as Senate President before heading off to work for the Obama administration in Washington D.C. would be to appoint her — a Republican — to an interim committee on school finance. It didn’t really surprise me, but I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for everyone else either.
In a rare move, outgoing Democrat Senate President Peter Groff–bound for a high-level education post with the Obama administration–has named the Republicans’ ranking member on the Senate Education Committee to a panel that will ponder the future of school funding in Colorado.
Senate GOP Whip Nancy Spence, of Centennial–a veteran voice on education issues who has worked closely with Groff on many signature reforms–is one of Groff’s three picks for the Interim Committee to Study the Financing of Public Schools. The other two are Senate Democrats Chris Romer, of Denver, and Bob Bacon, of Fort Collins.
The appointment is unusual because the president ordinarily is expected to select members of his own party to serve on interim committees, leaving it to opposition leaders to appoint the minority members for those panels.
Still pending are Senate GOP leader Josh Penry’s picks to the interim education panel.
“President Groff knows I’m as committed to education reform as he is,” Spence said today. “I’m pleased he has that impression of me.”
If only all the Democrats in the state legislature were nearly so friendly to education reform as Peter Groff. In this regard, he most certainly will be missed. Now maybe Groff could carry word to his new bosses Barack Obama and Arne Duncan to provide more poor D.C. kids the opportunity to participate in the successful voucher program — well, that would be icing on the cake.