Nevada has adopted a sweeping expansion of its school choice program, making individual savings accounts available to parents sending children to sectarian and even home schools. The Washington Post reports that parents will have $5,000 at their disposal to use on state-approved educational materials, including tuition, books and transportation. Gov.
In 1949, five domestic house cats were introduced to tiny Marion Island, which is off the coast of South Africa, in an effort to control the local mouse population. By 1977, the cat population had ballooned to 3,400, placing the local species of birds in danger of extinction.
It’s an old story: something that was intended to solve a problem instead creates a host of new ones.
Like Anakin Skywalker turning into Darth Vader, former Washington, D.C., public schools chancellor Michelle Rhee has transitioned from an optimistic public education reformer to a jaded voucher advocate.
You may not be familiar with Rhee, but you should be because she might be affecting public education in your state, despite her thin resume.
Yesterday marked the start of “National School Choice Week.” Although some of the groups and individuals behind this annual event are interested in things like charter schools and public school choice, it’s mainly a vehicle for promoting private school voucher plans.
Vouchers, of course, aren’t really about choice. Oh, there’s choice, all right – for the schools. They get to decide which students they will admit. They get to decide what to teach them. They get to decide who will teach there. They get to decide if they want to impose theology onto students.
When school voucher advocates announced that Jan. 27-Feb. 2 would be “National School Choice Week,” Americans United knew just what to do: counter outrageous voucher claims with the facts.
Americans United created a special section for its website, au.org, titled “‘School Choice Week’: A Dose Of Facts Debunks Voucher Propaganda.” The section contained links to several articles that challenged the claims of voucher advocates.
“National School Choice Week” is winding down, and we’ve been treated to an avalanche of propaganda for vouchers, neo-vouchers and other expressions of so-called “educational choice.”
It’s all a lie, of course. This is not about “choice.” It’s about funding religious and other private schools with taxpayer dollars and ultimately destroying the public school system.
Advocates of private school vouchers often point to Wisconsin as a model. The state has had a voucher plan since the early 1990s. At first limited to secular private schools in the city of Milwaukee, the voucher scheme was later expanded to include religious institutions.
The ongoing disgrace that is the Louisiana voucher plan continues to scandalize. This is a pretty impressive feat, considering that the program hasn’t even been fully implemented yet.
“The Wall of Separation” has reported previously about how leaders of religious schools are using the taxpayer funds to increase enrollment and how some schools plan to teach creationism and other discredited ideas.
With all of the hubbub over today’s ruling on health care at the Supreme Court, it’s easy for other stories to get overlooked. Here’s one from New Jersey that’s shouldn’t: Gov. Chris Christie has conceded that his school voucher plan is dead for this year.
Christie was asked about the matter during a recent town hall meeting in Mahwah. He said the bill was dead and blamed its derailment on Sheila Oliver, the state Assembly speaker, who Christie said refuses to move the bill.