Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

WSJ critical of PA Republicans for being soft on vouchers

NAACP protest in Harrisburg, slams vouchers & Gov. Corbett's budget cuts.
There's no better place to get the Ownership Society viewpoint on school reform than from the Wall Street Journal (although lately EdWeek has been running a close second). A June 16th, WSJ article, "Keystone State Kop-Out on Education," by David Feith, lambasts Pennsylvania Republicans for not doing enough on passage of a  state-wide voucher bill which could also serve as a bailout for the struggling Catholic school system.
"Without vouchers, we simply can't continue to bear the heavy cost of operating schools that are financially unsustainable, despite the great service they provide to the wider community," wrote Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput in May. That's why the church sponsored "Voucher Sunday" on May 20, deploying students, parents and teachers to promote school choice at more than 1,000 Masses across the state.
Feith begins his piece quoting  pro-voucher Gov. Tom Corbett calling education "the civil rights issue of the 21st century," (how original!) blasting a system in which "some students are consigned to failure because of their ZIP codes," and identifying vouchers as his top educational priority. But unlike Louisiana's rabid voucherite Gov. Bobby Jindal, who just forced the nation's biggest voucher bill though his legislature, Corbett "has been missing in action—failing to endorse the Senate voucher bill at public events, for example, or over lunches with legislators." 

The best Pennsylvania is likely to get now, says Feith, is a bill introduced this week by Republican Rep. Jim Christiana, which would create $200 million in new tax credits for businesses that donate to scholarship organizations.

So even though, Philadelphia has now turned over much of its public schools system to private charter school operators, one-percenter ideologues want more. They believe there may never be a better time to resurrect their previously failed voucher strategy than the present, especially with Mitt Romney's campaign touting vouchers at the heart of his education platform. 

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