Although the sword of Damocles still hangs above real public schools in the state of Florida.
Applauded by operators of religious schools, who are definitely not public schools by any reasonable understanding of the idea, DeSantis has announced his proposal for an ‘equal opportunity scholarship’ program.
DeSantis adds that he cannot fathom why people would want to deny opportunity to needy children.
(Someone should tell the governor that type of argument may have worked years ago, but people see through it now.)
Opportunity is not being denied to needy children. True public schools, the only ones in the state that actually have to obey federal and state laws, regulations, court decrees, and dictates, deny no child.
Some parents think otherwise. That doesn’t change the truth. When public schools are not meeting a child’s needs, the parents have multiple avenues to find a solution, including speaking at school board meetings and hiring a lawyer.
When every other type of school, the non-public ones, are not meeting a child’s needs, the parents have only one choice (hoping the irony does not escape you): find another school.
DeSantis is motivated by ideology, not facts. If he really wanted to know how well his ideas work, he has only to look a few hundred miles west on I-10. New Orleans shows that he is wrong.
But the Republicans have been in charge too long in Florida. Money corrupts, the money of the Koch brothers and their pet, ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and their ‘brothers in greed,’ otherwise known as every billionaire whose name you know, Gates, Walton, Broad, Devos, and many others you don’t, and that billionaire money corrupts absolutely.
Every religious school in the nation, including Catholic parochial schools, hopes to score a heaping helping of that taxpayer money.
It has been said many times and it must be said again: Mulitple school systems cannot exist on the funding that can only support one. (Credit to Peter Greene.)
As for opportunity for educational choice, that has always existed. What we’re really talking about is who is going to pay for it and the accountability that should go along with any school accepting public dollars.