"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Friday, January 15, 2021

DeVos Still Haunts Indiana


Betsy DeVos is gone...and her boss will be gone in less than a week, but that doesn't mean that the party of low taxes for the wealthy has forgotten what Princess Betsy stood for...the advancement of God's Kingdom in the battleground of "educational reform."

The Indiana General Assembly for the 2021 session already has thirty-seven bills dealing with "school." Most notable among them is House Education Committee chair, Bob Behning's HB 1005 which would...
...create state-funded Education Savings Accounts that certain K-12 students could use for various educational services, including private school tuition.
Just a reminder...in Indiana "private school tuition" means parochial schools more than 99% of the time. Advancing God's Kingdom, indeed.

Remember when Governor Mitch Daniels told us that it was important for anyone using vouchers to attend a public school for at least a year? Remember when Governor Mitch Daniels told us that vouchers were for poor kids to "escape" from "failing schools?"

You probably wouldn't be surprised to learn that fewer than half of 2019-2020 voucher recipients ever attended a public school.

And that thing about kids in poverty escaping "failing schools?" That was never the actual intent.
...the real intention of voucher supporters was and is: 1) hurt teacher’s unions; 2) subsidize religious education; and 3) redirect public education money to friends and well-wishers of voucher supporters. Also, a reminder: vouchers do not improve educational outcomes.
This year, the "advancers of God's Kingdom" in our legislature want to offer more voucher money to more, and wealthier, people. Steve Hinnefeld in his School Matters blog, explains...

Legislators propose expanded vouchers, ESA’s
Under HB 1005, families that make up to three times the limit to qualify for reduced-price school meals – which is over five times the federal poverty level — would become eligible for vouchers in 2022-23. For a family of five, that’s $170,274 a year, more than three times the median household income in Indiana.
Meanwhile, the legislature will likely neglect schools filled with poor kids who need extra help.

And will standardized tests, which are good for only one thing -- identifying which schools enroll children of poverty -- still be given this year of the pandemic? After all, that's how schools are labeled "failing."

Betsy DeVos still haunts Indiana!


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