Louisiana is embarking on the nation’s boldest experiment in privatizing public education, with the state preparing to shift tens of millions in tax dollars out of the public schools to pay private industry, businesses owners and church pastors to educate children.
Starting this fall, thousands of poor and middle-class kids will get vouchers covering the full cost of tuition at more than 120 private schools across Louisiana, including small, Bible-based church schools.
“We are changing the way we deliver education,” said Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican who muscled the plan through the legislature this spring over fierce objections from Democrats and teachers unions. “We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.”
Tip: CFI’s Morning Heresy
SOOOOOOO many problems with this, hard to know where to begin. But I’ll give you a quote:
At Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, pastor-turned-principal Marie Carrier hopes to secure extra space to enroll 135 voucher students, though she now has room for just a few dozen. Her first- through eighth-grade students sit in cubicles for much of the day and move at their own pace through Christian workbooks, such as a beginning science text that explains “what God made” on each of the six days of creation. They are not exposed to the theory of evolution.
“We try to stay away from all those things that might confuse our children,” Carrier said.
Other schools approved for state-funded vouchers use social studies texts warning that liberals threaten global prosperity; Bible-based math books that don’t cover modern concepts such as set theory; and biology texts built around refuting evolution.
Yeeeaaaahhhh… Let’s make Louisiana school kids ignorant and unprepared for college and life. Way to go Gov. Jindal! Governor Jindal is an advocate of creationism and has been critical of things like scientific hazard program. He is not what I would consider on the ball when it comes to a rational exchange about the value of science. It is a whoppingly bad idea to allow parents to decide the curriculum. Science isn’t a democracy. And this is a poor way to fix troubled schools – it’s at the expense of a valid education.
UPDATE: (13-June-2012) One school board is preparing to sue the state over this.
The resolution adopted by the board states that Act 2 is an apparent violation of a provision in the state Constitution that requires all bills in the Legislature to have a single purpose because the 47-page legislation addresses charter schools, scholarships and other items.
The resolution also states that the legislation calls for public funds to be directly allocated to nonpublic schools in apparent violation of the state Constitution and that it violates the separation of church and state in apparent violation of the U.S. Constitution.