While the country’s been focusing on the Presidential election and the euro crisis, Bobby Jindal and Louisiana Republicans are about to execute their plan to privatize the state’s public schools in a massive voucher mess that will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions. The real crime is that the “schools” that will profit tremendously from this little voucher scheme writ large are…surprise!…religious-based:
Far more openings are available at smaller, less prestigious religious schools, including some that are just a few years old and others that have struggled to attract tuition-paying students.
The school willing to accept the most voucher students — 314 — is New Living Word in Ruston, which has a top-ranked basketball team but no library. Students spend most of the day watching TVs in bare-bones classrooms. Each lesson consists of an instructional DVD that intersperses Biblical verses with subjects such chemistry or composition.
The Upperroom Bible Church Academy in New Orleans, a bunker-like building with no windows or playground, also has plenty of slots open. It seeks to bring in 214 voucher students, worth up to $1.8 million in state funding.
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.
And Louisiana tax dollars are going to this. It’s insanity…and yet, Republicans now dominate the state. This is the “future” of American education that will make us “competitive” in math and science with Europe and Asia. Awesome.
Meanwhile, the students left in Louisiana public schools lose more and more funding for every student that takes advantage of this “more efficient approach to education”, necessitating more vouchers as students and parents flee a doomed system that eventually goes under a critical mass point and collapses. Lotteries determine who gets into the posh schools, and who gets into the windowless cubicles with the textbooks where evolution doesn’t exist. It’s a grift that would make the best cons grin from ear to ear and everyone’s lining up to open a school to get in on the action.
Everything about this is a complete disaster waiting to happen that will almost certainly collapse the state’s schools where major private charter outfits will have to step in and “save” the state of education in Louisiana. And the GOP will gladly hand that control over to for-profit outfits.
Which of course is the point. The rich get the goods, the rubes get fleeced, and the poor get screwed. Nothing’s more American than that, folks. There’s plenty of damage unlimited GOP control at the state level can accomplish, as Louisiana is about to find out.
I guar-ron-tee it’s working as intended.