Across the US, there is a problem with education, its underfunded, lacking in innovation, and failing the next generation of young americans. They can only keep hold of the most dedicated teachers, because rather than treating them as prized assets worth more than any Politican or Manager, they have to survive on a salary that is fundamentally a joke. The Republican party has declared yet another war on teachers and other public servants going after their pay and pensions, while giving tax breaks to corporations and millionaires.
Part of the strategy is cutting funding, transitioning schools from public ownership, to the hands of corporations. This is an effort of moving us towards the McDonalds and Mattel sponsored schools of Jennifer Government. But also theres an equally insidious and evil agenda, which is that of the innocently named “School Choice”.
The stated aim of “School Choice”, is to give children of disadvantaged families, the right to go to private schools, funded by giving subsidies towards private school fees. Thats not the real aim, the aim is to allow fundamentalist christian parents to remove their children from the mind opening and tolerance inducing public school system, and put them in conservative christian schools.
Public schools throughout the USA are helping spread the message of tolerance. California’s SB48 will bring the contributions of LGBTQIA people in history into social studies the same way in the past, they brought in Hispanic and African Americans in, as part of an effort to fight prejudice. More and more public schools have Gay Straight Alliances, even in conservative christians states.
Parents are afraid, and they should be, you want your child to be a good little fundamentalist, when you can control all the information they have access to, it is easier to brainwash them. If you raise them on a diet of bible and other books filled with conservative lies, then its likely they’ll think the world was created in 6 days, that LGBTQIA people are evil, and anyone who disagrees has a little demon on their shoulder.
This all breaks down, when children find out that evolution makes a lot of sense, that the world is much bigger than the narrow world their parents forced down their throats. Once they get into the public school system, their brains start to get enriched and their hearts and minds open.
School choice vouchers are being used by these fundamentalist parents to send their children to schools that teach the same lies they get at home. Hatemongering leaders in the christian right are terrified because they know that once someone has opened their mind to reality its very difficult to close the mind up with hatred and intolerance.
Bullying in schools is a real hot-button issue, no longer is being bulled for being true to who you are, acceptable. School districts who try to be bigoted, face legal action from students no longer wanting to sit at the back of the bus. Christian students who try to bully, cajole and in other ways spread the hate of their parents, are becoming as unwelcome as the children of white supremacists a generation ago.
The point here, is that school choice is not about helping children, its about helping parents being able to brainwash their children with religious dogma, using federal, state and local tax dollars to fund it. It is child abuse, and religious indoctrination in clear violation of both ethical government and the separation of church and state.
Public schools in the USA, are not perfect but they are better than the schools that will indoctrinate them with Catechism, Creationism, and Lies.