Texas: The Fight Against Vouchers Begins Again

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Texas has a Lt. Governor named Adan Patrick who hates public schools. Before he was elected to the legislature, he was a radio talk show host, a small-time rightwing shock jock. Patrick’s favorite cause is vouchers and defunding public schools.

He needs to be reminded that “school choice” originated as the battle cry of white segregationists after the Brown decision of 1954. But maybe he knows that.

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State funding church: 93 percent of ‘scholarship program’ vouchers go to religious schools

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In this year alone the state of North Carolina has spent $12 million on what they refer to as Opportunity Scholarships, which exist to help lower income families move their children from public to private schools. Of that $12 million, approximately $11 million has gone to faith-based schools and only $800,000 to secular schools.

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Louisiana State Superintendent begs Private Schools to Take More Voucher Students– and Offers More State Money to Help Them Do So

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Daytime television has nothing on the pathetic saga of non-success that is the Louisiana voucher program (reformerspeak: “Opportunity Scholarship Program”).

Vouchers were piloted in New Orleans in 2008 and offered to the public beginning the 2012-13 school year. However, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee asked Louisiana State Superintendent John White about “due diligence” regarding his awarding voucher seats to schools without having conducted site visits. The now-infamous May 2012 “muddying the narrative” emails between White and Jindal administration officials indicate that White concocted a shady after-the-fact “due diligence” in an effort to cover his behind.

White allowed schools like New Living Word in Ruston to participate in the 2012-13 voucher program despite publicized concerns over adequate facilities, only dismissing the school from the voucher program after the state had overpaid it.

Then there is the issue of using money earmarked for public schools, Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) funding, as…

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Taxpayers fund creationism in the classroom(MUST READ)!

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Taxpayers in 14 states will bankroll nearly $1 billion this year in tuition for private schools, including hundreds of religious schools that teach Earth is less than 10,000 years old, Adam and Eve strolled the garden with dinosaurs, and much of modern biology, geology and cosmology is a web of lies. Now a major push to expand these voucher programs is under way from Alaska to New York, a development that seems certain to sharply increase the investment.

Public debate about science education tends to center on bills like one in Missouri, which would allow public school parents to pull their kids from science class whenever the topic of evolution comes up. But the more striking shift in public policy has flown largely under the radar, as a well-funded political campaign has pushed to open the spigot for tax dollars to flow to private schools. Among them are Bible-based schools that train students to reject and rebut the cornerstones of modern science.

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How Privatizers Are Killing Our Schools

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Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast called the public school system a “socialist regime.” Michelle Rheecautions us against commending students for their ‘participation’ in sports and other activities.

Privatizers believe that any form of working together as a community is anti-American. To them, individual achievement is all that matters. They’re now applying their winner-take-all profit motive to our children.

We’re Sliding Backwards, Towards “Separate and Unequal”

In 1954, the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. the Board of Education seemed to place our country on the right track. Chief Justice Earl Warren said that education “is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.” Thurgood Marshall insisted on “the right of every American to an equal start in life.”

But then we got derailed. We’ve become a nation of inequality, worse than ever before, worse than during the racist “separate but equal” policy of Plessy vs. Ferguson in 1896. The Civil Rights Project at UCLA shows that “segregated schools are systematically linked to unequal educational opportunities.” The Economic Policy Institute tells us that “African American students are more isolated than they were 40 years ago.”

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Vouchers don’t do much for students

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Ever since the administration filed suit to freeze Louisiana’s school voucher program, high-ranking Republicans have pummeled President Barack Obama for trapping poor kids in failing public schools.

The entire House leadership sent a letter of protest. Majority Leader Eric Cantor blistered the president for denying poor kids “a way into a brighter future.” And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal accused him of “ripping low-income minority students out of good schools” that could “help them achieve their dreams.”

But behind the outrage is an inconvenient truth: Taxpayers across the U.S. will soon be spending $1 billion a year to help families pay private school tuition — and there’s little evidence that the investment yields academic gains.

In Milwaukee, just 13 percent of voucher students scored proficient in math and 11 percent made the bar in reading this spring. That’s worse on both counts than students in the city’s public schools. In Cleveland, voucher students in most grades performed worse than their peers in public schools in math, though they did better in reading.

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Christie wins endorsement of black ministers, who call for school vouchers

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Gov. Chris Christie’s strong support of school vouchers today earned him the endorsement of Bishop Reginald Jackson, one of New Jersey’s most influential black ministers.

Image: William Perlman/The Star-Ledger

Jackson, the executive director of the New Jersey Black Ministers Council and a Newark community leader, described himself as a Democrat and noted that he endorsed Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine in 2009 when Christie first ran.

But Jackson today said state Democratic lawmakers have disappointed him by refusing to pass the Opportunity Scholarship Act, a bill that would give children in low-performing urban schools a publicly funded scholarship to attend a private school or another public school instead.

State Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex), the Democratic candidate for governor this year, opposes the bill. Jackson called Buono a “wonderful, warm and genuine person,” then launched a scathing critique on her party.

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