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Testing For Thee, But Not For Me

R. Neal at Facing South writes about one of the many Republican hypocrisies concerning education: Florida double standard for voucher students.

Florida voters have been forced for years to get the Republicans to adequately fund public schools, to adequately staff public schools, and to offer pre-school through the initiative process.

Consider this logic: we need to make tax cuts because we have a surplus, but we can’t implement the “class size initiative” because we have no money.

Left on their own, the only thing the Republicans have done is institute a testing regimen, the FCAT, which they can use to justify a voucher system. The vouchers keep getting thrown out by the Florida Supreme Court, and the Republicans keep coming up with new versions.

Since they are not allowed to directly fund the Christianist madrassas for their fundamentalist masters, they indirectly fund them with vouchers. As R. Neal points out there is no oversight at all for these schools, but they are receiving tax money.


1 phinky { 03.25.06 at 3:15 pm }

The sad part is, the parents from “failing” schools won’t use the vouchers. Case in point, my neighborhood’s elementary school is on the NCLB list as a failing school. As far as I know, I am the only one in our neighborhood who has taken advantage of the school choice provision for failing schools. My son doesn’t go to the neighborhood school, he goes to a magnet school that is accredited by the Commonwealth of Virginia. (VA doesn’t give schools grades like FL does, it accredits them.)

2 phinky { 03.25.06 at 3:33 pm }

And my mother can’t figure out why I want my son to go to school in Virginia. Granted we have our wingnuts in our legislature, but they haven’t tried to do the school voucher thing yet. (I added this comment after I read the link.)

3 bryan { 03.25.06 at 3:36 pm }

In my area of Florida your choice is Catholic school or a charter school, neither of which are subject to any state oversight. Many of these charter schools are funded by an “innovative” program: a business can “donate” to one of these schools and deduct that “donation” from their state tax bill. Understand if you are a business and owe the state $1,000 in taxes, you can “donate” $1,000 to one of these schools and owe the state nothing.

It’s another backdoor way of funding their madrassas, because those funds aren’t, technically, state money.

4 bryan { 03.25.06 at 4:06 pm }

In Florida, the voucher only covers the state’s funding, and not nearly the cost of educating a student, so poor people can’t afford to use them. The private schools want their total normal tuition.

Another way of destroying public education and enriching friends.