I live in Pennsylvania and apparently around there, the right wing “think tank” Freedom Works has put up signs all over the place saying, “School Choice is the Right Choice.” Every time I see these signs, my blood boils.
The problem with these signs is that it frames the issue as a choice issue rather than an attempt by the right wing to dumb down the general public. Yeah, that is what this is really all about. Educations vouchers (i.e. school choice) allow parents to take money away from public education and use it to fund religious indoctrination centers they call schools.
Now obviously not all religious schools are about indoctrination. Friends schools are notoriously open minded as my friend ShaunPhilly can attest. Some Catholic schools actually teach stuff too. But the whole idea of public education is that we all recognize that smart people are better for society than dumb people, so we all pay into the system. If you want your kids to go to a private school, then you have to pay the private school.
Let’s say I don’t like the way my local police protects me from crime and I want to hire a bodyguard, can I demand “police choice.” I want the money that I pay into the community police to be a voucher so that I can hire my own private police force. In fact, maybe I want my own private army too. How much of my taxes dollars go toward national defense? I demand military choice!
Not only do education vouchers cut funds to the already underfunded public education system, but then it often gives that money to churches for “religious education.” It double dumbs down kids.
I want to make a new sign that says, “Vouchers Steal Children’s Education.” The right wing is very good at taking their legislative bullshit to the people and getting them to put pressure on liberal politicians. Then the liberal politicians cave in to right wing demands. We have to do more of this and start putting the pressure on them for a change. Go make your own signs on this issue or others and put them out there. If Democrats aren’t going to do it, we have to do it ourselves. Time to fight back!