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Ohio Moves To Privatize Public Schools

By The Reverend Published: May 12, 2011

Advocates for school vouchers have always insisted that voucher programs are for the purpose of saving children hopelessly lost in "failed" public school systems. This cynical Reverend never bought that nonsense. Now, it looks like Ohio's House Republicans don't buy that nonsense either....

The Ohio House of Representatives is considering legislation that would make..... vouchers available to any parent who met income requirements, regardless of the quality of the public schools their children attend.

That should end the lie that vouchers are all about the poor, poor quality of certain public schools.

Vouchers take money out of public school systems and redistribute it into private school systems. That has been the plan all along.

Opponents say an expanded voucher program would deplete district resources already stretched thin by cuts in the two-year budget and would spend money on kids who already are enrolled in private schools, thus adding to taxpayers' burden.

The objective in all of this seems obvious. The complete privatization of all public schools. It should be transparently clear by now that today's extremist Republican Party is at war with all things "public." Public schools are socialistic in nature....therefore, to our modern GOP, public schools are the enemy. And, of course, those overpaid, babysitting, teachers belong to unions...unions which traditionally support Democratic causes.

One of the other patented excuses given by pro-voucher folks in defense of debilitating the public school system is that 'parents deserve to have a choice.' Parents have always had a choice. Private K-12 schools have always been available in Ohio and nothing has prevented parents from sending their children there. Voucher advocates are not insisting that parents have a choice....they are insisting that tax dollars pay for the choices parents make. Big difference.

Ohio's Republicans in Columbus are now stripping away all the phony excuses they have spouted up til now about why vouchers are the only way forward.

While cutting state funds to public school districts all across the state....

Gov. John Kasich's proposed budget raises the current limit of 14,000 vouchers to 60,000 in two years.

Led by the very little man, John Kasich, Ohio's GOP is methodically hollowing out our state's public school system. And just like with Indiana, where another very little extremist man, Mitch Daniels, is slashing public schools while increasing private school vouchers......Kasich and his GOP Privatization Band would hand out vouchers to families making $100,000 per year.

Under.... House Bill 136, children attending the highest-rated school in their home county could get a voucher if they meet income qualifications.

A family of four with an income of less than $61,000 a year would qualify for a $4,600 voucher, based on current estimates. A family of four making up to about $100,000 still would qualify for smaller vouchers, based on a sliding scale.

Clearly, this has nothing to do with quality of schools. This is simply one of Grover Norquist's wettest of dreams playing out in real time. Starving the beast of public schools until they are so small and impoverished that they can be "drowned in a bathtub."

And to what end? So that revenue schemers like David Brennan can ride in with his White Hat Management for-profit K-12 private school systems and scoop up taxpayer money for himself.

Adding a profit motive to K-12 schools, we are told, will produce a better school system because, you know, there's an incentive. Either taxes will have to be raised to pay for those profits or Ohio's children will be offered an inferior education product.

Finally, my biggest beef with the plan by extremist Republicans to privatize K-12 education in Ohio is that much of the redistribution of taxes through vouchers will go to religious schools. Regardless of what a few radical judges here and there have dollars going to religious education is a violation of the 1st amendment's prohibition of establishing religion.

The Bible-belt creep northward is already threatening the intelligence quotient of Ohioans. I have been amazed at how much more ignorant and superstitious Ohioans have become just during my lifetime. Now, Kasich's Klowns are planning on abusing the learning abilities of Ohio's children further by sending tax dollars to K-12 Schools for Jesus.

HB 135 should be stopped in it's tracks....umm....drowned in it's incubator. Ohio's extremist Republicans booted from office.



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