Thursday, July 20, 2006
More on the GOP voucher proposal. We’ve learned from the NCLB blueprint how these initiatives go – you tie the bill to a big burst of initial funding, as an enticement to get the structure built in, then gradually CUT funding over time so that the program is actually unworkable as originally conceived. Does ANYONE believe that the Republicans are interested in a permanent program to give low-income kids hefty stipends to spend on schools of their choice?
[Steve Benen] In reality, this isn't about expanding "opportunities"; this is about a sop to the GOP base, which wants to take steps towards privatizing education and subsidizing private academies.
The plan will give "the children of lower-income families . . . the same opportunities wealthier families have," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).
Nonsense. The GOP, which recently rejected a modest increase to the minimum wage, wants children of lower-income families to have "the same opportunities wealthier families have"? I'm delighted to hear that. Maybe we can start with those families that can't afford the same kinds of housing opportunities that wealthier families have. And the same kind of health care. And the same kinds of transportation, nutrition, and political influence.
Also keep in mind, over the last two years, the Bush administration, which never fully funded its own education plan, has proposed cutting federal support for public education. And some of the same congressional Republicans who want private school vouchers because of their heartfelt concern for low-income children also cut funding for housing vouchers for low-income families.
With this in mind, the new school voucher scheme is a transparent charade. The GOP isn't worried about opportunities for low-income kids; they're worried about opportunities to make James Dobson happy.
Posted by Nick Burbules at 5:08 AM