Thursday, March 2, 2017

Russ on Reading: School Vouchers: Welfare for the Rich, the Racist, and the Religious Right

Russ on Reading: School Vouchers: Welfare for the Rich, the Racist, and the Religious Right:

School Vouchers: Welfare for the Rich, the Racist, and the Religious Right


Our new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is rich, white, and a proselytizing supporter of the Christian religious right. DeVos is also an outspoken champion of school vouchers. These two things are not coincidences. While voucher proponents will tell you, and some may even believe, that their push for vouchers is a push to make sure all children have the opportunity to get a great education, the real benefactors of school vouchers are the rich, the white and the religious right.

What are vouchers exactly? School vouchers come in many forms and since the general public is typically opposed to voucher schemes, politicians who favor them have come up with a variety of Orwellian doublespeak names for them like Opportunity Scholarships, Education Choice Scholarships, or the Education Savings Accounts. Another way states have found to get around calling vouchers vouchers is the scholarship tax credit. These schemes allow individuals and corporations to direct their tax monies to private institutions who then use the money for scholarships for students.

The idea behind vouchers, originally suggested by economist Milton Friedman in the 1950s, is that the competition for students carrying vouchers will improve all schools, that children stuck in "underperforming" schools will find a way out through a voucher system, and that parents will get to exercise choice.

DeVos claims that voucher opponents are foes of change and champions of the status quo. I hope to show that it is the voucher schemes and the DeVos' 
Russ on Reading: School Vouchers: Welfare for the Rich, the Racist, and the Religious Right:


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