GOP school privatization scheme: Overfund, then loosen rules

Phil Berger is Public (schools) Enemy Number One:

Opportunity Scholarships, approved in 2013, provide up to $4,200 a year to help low-income parents send their children to private schools. The program has never used all the money allocated, leaving millions unspent each year, but a spending plan approved in 2017 calls for increasing the budget by $10 million a year through 2027, the Observer recently reported.

“We’ve got substantial demand,” Berger said. “I think the growth that’s currently built into the program is something that we don’t need to go backwards on.” Although he acknowledged that there haven’t been enough eligible applicants to claim all the money budgeted, he said that’s not a reason to rein in spending. “I think it’s reason to maybe modify the rules,” he said.

I take very little satisfaction that I predicted just that a few weeks ago. It was almost inevitable, considering how unethical Republicans can be when engineering their pet projects. I also take little satisfaction in being proved right RE my concerns about Joel Ford:

Berger’s news conference included former state senator and Charlotte mayoral candidate Joel Ford, a Democrat who said he initially opposed the scholarship program but now serves on the board of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, a school choice advocacy group. Janet Nunn, whose granddaughter, 9-year-old Nariah Hunter, attends Victory Christian Center School on an Opportunity Scholarship, said attending the private school has helped her daughter thrive academically and socially.

“Today she’s a straight A student and I’m forever grateful that,” Nunn said as Nariah looked on, beaming. Nunn and Nariah were profiled in the Observer in 2016, when Nariah was in first grade at the private school.

Joel is nothing if not opportunistic. But Side-Street Democrats aside, here is what your tax dollars are paying for:

Christian education is such an important tool in giving God another generation. We believe that Christian parents have a responsibility to see that their children know God, Who He is, who they are because of Him, and have a Biblical worldview. In today’s society, we are all bombarded with secular, humanistic perspectives and teachings that subtly and oftentimes directly oppose the Word of God. Anti-Christian philosophies have infiltrated the public school systems on every level. But thank God there is an alternative! God has blessed this ministry to be able to provide a solid, competitive Christian education beginning in preschool and going all the way to the doctorate level.

Of course that's riddled with inaccuracies and hyperbole, but that's the American Way when it comes to generating a profit. Doesn't say much for the actual education part, but that's really beside the point, isn't it?



Joel Ford

Such a gross, vapid human being. Give him a chance to get on the wrong side of an issue, and he'll be there so fast your head will spin. State funding for Christian schools? Your tax dollars going to promote superstition and magical thinking. Kind of sickening.