Trump’s school choice plan will fund private religious schools and destroy secular public education in the United States.
During his address before a joint session of Congress earlier this week, President Donald Trump repeated his campaign pledge that he would provide taxpayer money to fund private, religious schools.
In his speech Trump declared:
I am calling upon members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children.
These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them.
Previously Trump has promised that taxpayer “money will follow the student to the public, private or religious school that is best for them and their family.”
Trump’s controversial Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is a big supporter of Trump’s school choice plan. The ultra-conservative billionaire and rabid religious extremist has built her reputation on promoting voucher programs that deliver taxpayer money to private religious schools.
In her previous actions DeVos has made it clear that she wants to destroy public education and use taxpayer money to fund Christian schools.
When asked about spending taxpayer dollars on private and religious schools, DeVos declared:
There are not enough philanthropic dollars in America to fund what is currently the need in education…[versus] what is currently being spent every year on education in this country…Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s Kingdom.
Apparently for DeVos, and Trump, what is currently needed in education is more Jesus, more Christianity, more religious superstition. And they are willing to destroy public education and use tax dollars to support private religious schools in order to promote the dream of a Christian theocracy.
However, Trump and DeVos are wrong. Allowing private religious schools to use public funds is unconstitutional, and a profound threat to public, secular education, and the secular values upon which this nation was founded. The government should never be in the business of funding private religion.
Bottom line: Trump’s school choice plan promises religious fundamentalism at taxpayer expense.