Using Tragedy to Push Voucher Schemes

It looks like anything is fair game for anti-public school fanatics. Peggy Venable, who directs the Texas office of (David and Charles Koch-funded) Americans for Prosperity, put up this odious Twitter post last week after police shot and killed an eighth-grade student in Brownsville:

AFP-Texas tweeted the same thing.

“School choice,” of course, is code for private school vouchers. During the 2011 Texas legislative session, Venable’s group supported a radical voucher scheme that could have diverted billions of dollars from the state’s public schools to private and religious schools. The bill would actually have had the state of Texas (not counting local or federal funds) pay more for a student to attend a private school than a public school. Venable was also thrilled that the Legislature slashed more than $5 billion in funding for public schools from the current two-year budget.

Now she is using the horrifying and tragic death of a junior high school student to push her anti-public education agenda. How cold and shameful.

16 thoughts on “Using Tragedy to Push Voucher Schemes

  1. Home schooling sounds good. Remember though vochers or not, private school do not have to accept students.

  2. Rightwingers conveniently overlook the fact that in 26 statewide referenda from coast to coast voters have rejected vouchers or their variants by an average margin of 2 to 1. This year’s Gallup education poll showed oppositiom to vouchers at 65% to 34%. And the Texas constitution prohibits tax aid to faith-based private schools. — Edd Doerr, President, Americans for Religious Liberty,

  3. i wonder how she and others of her ilk will like it when they discover their private school vouchers being used by muslim parents to send their kids to islamic schools?

  4. It sounds to me like Peggy Venable’s mind has been overtaken by witchcraft spirits. She should do some late night channel surfing until she lands upon an infomerical for a product called – really – “No Evil Oil.” Pastor Danny Davis, he of the mullet haircut, can found offering viewers a small vial of red liquid that has been “prayed over 17 days.” Among other things No Evil Oil “keeps away witchcraft spirits.”

    A little water, a little food coloring…… this a great country or what.

  5. What this twitter post actually reveals is a deeply disturbed individual whose sole connection with an awful human tragedy is to see it as fodder for her personal obsession. The degree of empathic failure demonstrated is breathtaking… similar to that of a small child mindlessly stepping on ants. This trait seems pathagnomonic of right-wing personalities who claim a love of ‘humanity’ but who, in reality, have no emotional connection to the actual human beings that ‘humanity’ is composed of. Thus one quintessential characteristic of the totalitarian personality is blind adherence to ideology and a ‘them’ v ‘us’ worldview in which the ‘them’ grows larger as the ‘us’ shrinks (as those ‘us’ who stray from the ‘party line’ are culled and become ‘them’) engendering a paranoia which dehumanizes the ‘them’ to the extent that the tragic death of a child is seen only for its propaganda value (without, by the way, explaining how her preferred alternative would have prevented a similar incident). Naturally, such dehumanization ultimately leads to crimes against humanity like Iraq, Guantanamo, and Bagram to name only the latest.

  6. Both the right and left on the extreme side of things have atendency to forget human decency. I wouldn’t call either side nice.

  7. All one need do is to review the Terri Schiavo case to see that republican policy makers don’t really care about people; they care about the perception that they care about people.

  8. All one need do is to review the Terri Schiavo case to see that republican politicians don’t really care about people; they care about the perception that they care about people.

  9. Well, Democrats say they are for the small people and then they tax them into poverty and their lives are worse off like the animals in ANIMAL FARM.

  10. Dear WrongRev, Your comment shows a lack of reality testing. Poverty rates have decreased under liberal administrations and have risen under neoliberal (either Repug or Dim) administrations. The difference is that in liberal administrations, taxes are channeled back to the public in useful forms like roads, hospitals, libraries, schools, etc. (you know, all those wimpy things ‘libruls’ love so much) so people pay less out of pocket for those services while the neoliberals funnel the taxes into the pockets of the wealthy and the corporations who, contrary to Reaganist propaganda, invest it in increasing their own personal wealth or that of their boards & shareholders. The only thing that runs downhill in “trickle-down economics” is the same thing that always runs downhill in neoliberal administrations and is the reason we have toilets in our bathrooms instead of ATMs. Consequently, the people’s out of pocket costs rise as their income decreases since they still require the same goods & services their taxes were buying before. And, Orwell’s novel was not about the failures of democracy, it was about the insidious nature of totalitarianism to subvert democracy based on status & privilege… so let’s see who’s more in favor of a constellation of different voices contributing to the public debate (i.e.; democracy) vs. those who advocate excluding voices based on national origins, religions, skin colors, economic status, or whatever characteristic maintains the power of the ‘chosen few’ (i.e.; those who support a totalitarian world-view).

    Be honest now…

  11. The fact of the matter is that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans care that much for us. Both pay a tremendous amount of lip service and live in an alternative universe. I know well what Animal Farm is about and the sad thing is about America we are going to live under a 51% tyranny nomatter who the tyrants are.

    Bottom line; the Religious Right unfortunately sees their side all going to heaven and can’t objectively call a spade a spade.

  12. Parents should have ultimate choice on where to send their child not EDUCATORS. With a school voucher Parents are back in control. What is possibly wrong with that???

  13. Only the rich can afford a private school why not make that option availble to everyday folks via a voucher system?

    1. A lot of “everyday folks” still wouldn’t be able to attend a private school because the voucher wouldn’t cover the full cost, private schools can pick and choose which students to accept, and most communities simply don’t have private schools. Meanwhile, public schools would have even fewer dollars to educate millions of Texas students while a relative few families are getting taxpayer subsidies for their own kids to attend private schools.