Skip to comments.Republicans Missing Chance on Education Reform
Posted on 06/25/2012 4:29:37 AM PDT by Kaslin
One area that awareness of the need for freedom from government control has penetrated black attitudes is in education.
The chronic failure of public schools to notably improve dismal test scores and high dropout rates of black children has made it clear to many black citizens of good will that there has got to be a better way.
Polls show black support for school choice. For example, in a poll done last year in New Jersey by the Rutgers-Eagleton Center at Rutgers University, 54 percent of blacks expressed support for school vouchers compared to 36 percent of whites.
Growing grass roots support among blacks for education alternatives surely influenced the Obama administrations agreement, this past week, to ongoing support for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. The administration opposes the program and would have been perfectly happy to see its funding spigot turned off.
This is a modest program, with federal funds available now for 1,615 scholarships for kids in DCs public schools to attend private schools. Its existence and potential for growth was at stake, with House Speaker John Boehner and Senator Joseph Lieberman carried the ball for it. The new agreement will allow it to continue, with a small provision for 85 new scholarships.
But this makes even more perplexing recent incidents where Republican state legislators have turned their backs on the education hopes of blacks.
Republicans in Pennsylvania can change the political landscape of their state by helping black aspirations for education freedom. But in a state that some analysts see as conceivably swinging into the Republican column, Republicans are blowing it.
The Pennsylvania state Senate passed a bill last year that would make vouchers available to kids in the worst 5% of public schools.
The public schools serving blacks kids in cities like Philadelphia are disasters. I know from my own survey of pastors in local churches there that hopes for this voucher initiative have been high.
Yet, by all indication its not going to happen.
The state House, controlled by Republicans, has been sitting on the bill. With no action before the end of the session on June 30 it will be dead.
There is talk of an alternative scholarship bill financed through tax credits. But the most optimistic estimate I have heard is that the scholarship would be worth less than half what the voucher would pay and therefore insufficient on its own to pay full tuition in a private church school.
Courageous leadership by Republicans could have captured black hearts and minds in Pennsylvanias cities that might have paved a path to a new black relationship with Republicans.
But sadly, fear of union power rather than leadership and courage seems to be motivating these legislators.
In 2010, a similar disappointment occurred in Illinois.
In a genuine breakthrough, a black Democrat in the Illinois state Senate, Rev. James Meeks, who happens to also be the pastor of Chicagos largest Baptist congregation, introduced a school voucher bill.
The bill passed the Illinois senate and then died in the state House, with only 25 of 48 Republicans supporting it. It fell 12 votes short of the 60 it needed to pass.
This is not an across the board indictment of Republicans. Two Republican governors Mitch Daniels in Indiana and Bobby Jindal in Louisiana have spearheaded passage of school voucher programs in their states.
In a new Gallup poll, only 29 percent, an all time low, express a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in our public schools.
The Republican Party is supposed to be the party of freedom and limited government. No where are these principles more needed than in education, and no community needs it more than blacks.
At a time when our country and our poor communities are hurting so badly, any failure of leadership by those in the party of Lincoln is inexcusable.
Education is a State issue, not federal.
Which is why the department of education needs to disappear.
“Education is a State issue, not federal.”
Correct, the most direct method of improving education opportunity in the US Public School System is to eliminate the US Department of Education, including it’s SWAT Teams.
...and anything that resembles a teachers union.
Unfortunately the GOP is largely hiding from those pesky issues so things can continue to get worse while they pretend to fix economic issues.
After all, we aren’t going to fix our economy while our schools continue to pump out little marxists and we allow some 30 million more to live in the country illegally.
She is right. To be able to go into to 2004 election with credit for passing NCLB, GWB struck a deal with Kennedy and Dems to limit this program to DC, and Dems wiped it out first thing in 2009.
The Federal government shouldn't be running public schools, but if they are going to spend money there I just assume it be private school vouchers.
Let's see. Romney, Boehner and McConnell, or Obama, Reid and Pelosi, You expecting this soon?
“Public School” must be eliminated.
The public school, including the “charter school”, is BY FAR, the largest, most expensive, most subversive, and most destructive entitlement program in the country.
The public school is better understood as the government school collective.
It is silly to imagine that you can fix the public schools, because the very concept itself is collectivist.
Any child that comes out of the government school collective with their moral compass and common sense intact does so in spite of the government school indoctrination, not because of it.
If you want to win the culture war, have lots of children (see my tagline) and homeschool them or form your own school cooperative with your church or synagogue and like-minded friends and relatives.
Nobody loves your children more than you do.
Nobody can teach your children better than you can.
Nobody knows your children better than you do.
Your children would love nothing better than to be taught by you, if you start doing so before they are corrupted by the government school collective.
It is hypocritical for you to submit your children to an authority with whom you fundamentally disagree. And your children will know it.
If you have children, make whatever sacrifices you must to get them out of the public schools.
DO NOT FEED THE BEAST!
Especially not with your own children.
And DO NOT TAKE GOVERNMENT “EDUCATION” MONEY!
He that pays the piper calls the tune, and that’s especially true for any government entitlement program.
1) Eliminate the Department of Education and erase all laws and regulations implemented by that department during its existence.
2) Return all power and taxes to the Individual States and allow local control to once again work... unlike the failed system that the Fed has created.
AMEN to that! It is the most destructive thing to ever hit the Republic. It is inherently Marxist to the core.
‘Must’??? Now back to planet Earth.
Private school vouchers are the best way to challenge public schools, that is why Dems fought relentlessly in 2004 to keep them out of NCLB, and pretty much succeeded.
Private school vouchers are the best way to challenge public schools...Absolutely.
No, get RID of it...all. No more of the ‘Yell, XYZ is fine, since the nose is already under the tent’.
I’d love to see the break-out of property taxes paid for each ‘student’ (to be placed on the ballet with the ‘it’s for the children’ request for more $$); so all the retiree’s and those of us w/out children can finally have their eyes opened.
Unfortunately it won’t happen because conservatives talk a lot bigger game than the one they really have. Look at the ease with which moderate Mitt has moved the party back to the left.
Those who’s offspring have ruined their own schools are of course in favor of schools-of-choice in successful school districts. Be careful of what you wish for, schools-of-choice Republicans. You just might get it.
I am sure that will be Romney, Boehner and McConnell's #1 objective, to outlaw public schools. Now back to planet Earth.
>>Private school vouchers are the best way to challenge public schools, <<
It’s a start, but that’s not what’s making PS disappear.
Vouchers are just keeping a middle man in the schools.
What is being pushed in my area is tax breaks. People are homeschooling and there huge support for a break from taxes. Vouchers failed here. But most of MI (short of the cities) likes the tax breaks because it cuts the middle man.
Given something like PA’s proposal, which was to give inner city kids vouchers, one would think that most Republicans would, at worst, be neutral, on it - given that it would not affect their precious public schools in the suburbs, but they are not...they are just as bad as the Dem leadership.
The problem is that conservatives, in general, cannot get it THROUGH THEIR HEAD that the idea of government schools is inherently flawed. That’s why the people they elect keep voting down vouchers. Most conservatives, sadly, still think that the public schools their kids attend are ‘wonderful’ and that the bad schools are just in the next town. So the system persists and persists.
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