Governor Bobby Jindal’s push to overhaul the state education system was dealt a major blow recently. The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled the state cannot fund it’s landmark voucher initiative with money allocated for Public schools. Governor Jindal, a Republican, vowed his scholarship program will move forward, despite the Supreme Court decision. He pledged to find another revenue source to pay for it.
It is one of the most ambitious voucher efforts ever in the U.S. It has been set up to take money from student state allocations and use that to cover the cost of attending private or religious schools. In its ruling, the court said Louisiana’s minimum foundation program- the states per student allocation for each student to attend a public school- cannot be used for anything else. The court made it clear it wasn’t passing judgement on the program itself. The decision dealt only with the diversion of dollars meant for the public schools that the court struck down 6-1.
Louisiana Association of Educators, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and the Louisiana School Boards Association brought the case to the court. Justice John Weimer wrote ” the clear, specific and unambiguous language of the Constitution” doesn’t allow the government to divert funds for public schools to pay for private or parochial schools. Critics say that this is an attempt to have taxpayers subsidize private and religious schools. Roughly 8,000 students have been approved to receive school vouchers in the coming academic year.
Jindal said ‘We’re disappointed the funding mechanism was rejected, but we are committed to making sure this program continues and we will fund it through the budget. The bottom line is that our kids only get one chance to grow up and we are committed to making sure choice is alive and families can send their kids to a school of their choice.” Jindal has been a vocal critic of the American Public School System and Teachers Unions. He claims they give students no alternatives to failing schools. Critics have noted that schools accepting vouchers teach to different standards. In many cases, schools were teaching creationism, which is in direct violation of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In other they were teaching of the existence of the Lochness Monster, is that really important. Others offered no services for special needs children or children with disabilities.
Jindal’s voucher schools teacher lessons such as slaveholder owners weren’t bad to their slaves. That the KKK wad concerned with morality. Klan targets were bootleggers, wife beaters and unmoral movies. This is another Republican attempt to privatise public schools and break up another union. Private and religious schools are not held up to the same educational standards as public schools. Their curriculum is not approved by anyone other than the church or staff and they do not have to meet the same levels of reading and math scores because they are not required to report them.
The problem with our public school system is socio-economic. The poorer the district, the lower the test scores and grades and the lower the funding they recieve. Democrats and Republicans have been going back and forth over this for at least a decade. Privatization is not the answer, privatizing education makes it about profit not education. A good example is the Kids for Cash scheme in Luzerne County, Pa. Juvenile facilities were privatised and 2 judges were convicted for receiving money for illegally placing children in these facilities.
The answer lies in better teachers, smaller class sizes and even funding per school. But with the state of our current government nothing will get done. Anything President Obama tries to do is immediately met with Republican resistance. Maybe if he told them that he and the Democrats hate public school and Teachers Unions Republicans would throw their support behind them. It might be worth a shot.
Posted from WordPress for Android