Texas legislators in 2007 and 2009 delivered huge defeats to backers of voucher schemes that would drain hundreds of millions of dollars from neighborhood public schools to subsidize tuition at private and religious schools. Those defeats came after the state’s voters punished pro-voucher legislators at the polls in 2006. Now Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee for president this year, is trying to revive those efforts to defund public education.
Today the former Massachusetts governor promoted a federal voucher scheme. From Talking Points Memo:
Romney’s plan would not entail any increased federal spending on education, his advisers confirmed to reporters beforehand. It would instead allow individual parents to use existing federal money to send children in public schools to private and charter schools.
Texas and other states across the country have already made deep cuts to funding for public education, leading to massive teacher layoffs and classrooms that are increasingly crowded. Now Romney wants to divert even more funding to private and religious schools that aren’t accountable to taxpayers and don’t have to meet the same standards as public schools.
Texans said “no” in 2006. Utah voters overwhelmingly rejected a voucher program the next year. According to the National School Boards Association, the 2007 Utah vote “marked the 11th time in 11 referenda that a state’s voters have rejected a specific voucher or tuition tax credit program or proposal.”
The message is pretty clear: voters want elected officials to focus on funding public schools that educate the vast majority of our children instead of using our tax dollars to subsidize private and religious schools.
Maybe that message needs to be louder.
4 thoughts on “Romney Pushes Private School Voucher Scheme”
How many people would really want their children to go to a school where Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson happened to be the headmaster—and have it paid for by tax dollars. These Christian fundamentalists want to be on the federal dole, and vouchers would get them there.
Just think about it folks. Somewhere in Alabama tonight, a fat Baptist preacher with a big old diamond ring on his pinky finger, news anchor hair, and a polyester suit is thinking to himself, “If the feds could drop a few $$$$$billion in my collection plate, we could really go places!!!”
Straight to Hell would be my best guess.
Since he has the nomination wrapped up Romney is now checking the boxes. He gave the commencement speech Falwell’s pile of junk university last weekend, now he’s hitting the voucher box, the gay marriage box, etc. in an attempt to round up votes among social conservatives. I think Romney is a decent enough guy but it truly disgusts me to see him pandering to the anti-democracy crowd.
The GOP primary season was quite informative this time around. Santorum, a Catholic, did not win the Catholic vote in any state. The states he did win, except Iowa, all annually rank in the bottom 10 nationally in high school graduation rates. That’s not surprising though; fundamentalist religion of the sort practiced by most Southern Baptists and Pentecostals is the domain of inferior minds.
Would these funds also be available to Islamic schools? How about schools operated by the Scientiologists? Myabe a Wiccian school? This could be a gravy train for those looking for government hand-outs. Just be careful what you wish for you migtht get it.
Romney seems not to care that tens of millions of voters have rejected vouchers or their variants in 26 statewide referenda from coast to coast by an average of two to one. Romney, the rich kid who graduated from a fancy private school (where he bullied another kid), has shown himself to be no friend of either public education or the religious freedom enshrined in the Texas constitution, the US First Amendment, and the constitutions of at least 37 other states. — Edd Doerr, President, Americans for Religious Liberty