Louisiana recently passed and implemented one of the most sweeping public education voucher systems in the nation. Louisiana calls this program Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence, or in legalese, simply “Act 2.”
Under Act 2, any public school student in the state attending a public school that is rated “C,” “D” or “F” by the state education department can apply to receive a voucher that can be used at any approved educational institution in the state, including religiously affiliated schools. Eligibility is limited to students from families earning less than 250% of the federal poverty level each year.
To ‘Puter, Louisiana’s efforts are worthy of praise. ‘Puter’s railed in the past about segregated (by income) education being one the last great civil rights issue. Let’s state it clearly. If you have the misfortune to be born poor, your odds of receiving even an average education are about the same as winning a Powerball jackpot. Louisiana knows this and is doing something about it.
If you’re a poor kid in Louisiana, damned by fate of birth to an unacceptable “education” administered through piss-poor teachers in dangerous schools (due to both attendees and lack of maintenance), Gov. Jindal and the legislature have given you a chance. You can tell your local school to take their textbooks and shove them where the sun don’t shine, and walk with enough money to go to a better school, even a Catholic school.
Awesome, right? Not if you’re the Louisiana State Teachers’ Union. Not if you’re a local school board. Kids’ futures be damned, they say. Keep the kids right where they are, in sub-performing or failed schools. In fact, these asshats have actually sued the state to prevent children from escaping their local gulag of “learning.”
You heard ‘Puter right. Teachers’ unions have sued Louisiana to prevent poor students from access to a good education. It’s that simple.
“But what’s their motive, ‘Puter? We all know teachers are the bestest, most nicest people in the whole big wide universal thingy, right? Some teachers even go that extra mile, meeting with students after school, or even during school, to provide one-on-one tutoring on human reproduction.”
Unions only care about one thing: money. Well, that’s not exactly true. Unions care about power as well, but that flows from money. Therefore, teachers’ unions only care about school kids because kids equal money. Butts behind desks equals money in their wallets, and money to buy more politicians.
|Louisiana’s state teachers’ union executive
committee holds a board meeting to discuss
its response to Louisiana’s educational voucher
program. Randi Weingarten was late.
Money. Dirty, filthy, one-percenter tainted money. That’s why teachers unions are standing in the schoolhouse door, ringed by a (sort-of-metaphorical) phalanx of sunglasses-clad state troopers with dogs, defending “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,” doing their best Gov. George Wallace impression.
Individual teachers care about your kids and their education. Teachers unions don’t. In fact, teachers’ unions are more than willing to throw your kids under the school bus if it means fewer days worked for higher pay for their members.
‘Puter suggest the following approach. Let’s insist the court apply the same legal standard it would in a domestic or family court proceeding. That is, the court should determine what’s in the best interest of the child or children involved.*
‘Puter, arguing as an amicus curiae, would simply pose this question to the presiding judge. “Are Louisiana’s children attending failed or failing schools better off remaining in those schools, or are they better served by attending higher performing schools elsewhere?”
As a follow up, ‘Puter would simply state that the unions are asking the court to hold as matter of law that teachers’ unions’ grown members’ monetary interests trump the interest of Louisiana’s children in an adequate, never mind exceptional, education.
It really is that simple.
*N.B. ‘Puter hates this B.S. so-called legal standard. “Best interest of the child” is so squishy it’s an invitation to legislate from the bench. One judge may believe child support should include sums sufficient to keep kids in Gucci and Prada, carrying the latest iWhatever, while a second judge may think that if Sears Toughskins and VanCamp’s Beenie-Weenie was good enough for her, they’re good enough for the kids. ‘Puter’s just using this liberal-sociological piece of horseshit because it’s Schadenfreude-licious to hear liberals scream when they’re held to their own standard.