Destroying public education: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is demanding $5 billion in taxpayer money go to fund private, religious schools.
The New York Times reports:
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday pitched a $5 billion federal tax credit that would fund scholarships to private schools and other educational programs…
And Common Dreams reports:
The billionaire heiress who bought her position as Donald Trump’s Education Secretary plans to spend $5 billion of your tax dollars on private, religious, and parochial schools.
DeVos called her proposal to give $5 billion in taxpayer money to private religious schools a “bold” proposal that gives “hundreds of thousands of students across the country the power to find the right fit for their education.”
The biggest winners will be America’s forgotten children, who will finally have choices previously available only for the rich, the powerful and the well-connected.
However, those in the know understand that the proposal is yet another attempt by religious extremists to destroy public education while using taxpayer funds to promote ignorance and religious superstition.
Commenting on the new proposal, JoAnn Bartoletti, the executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, called the proposal “particularly tone deaf,” noting:
Mobilizing behind a scheme to further starve public schools and nine in 10 American students of the resources they need is not only unresponsive but insulting, and it reflects this administration’s persistent disdain for public education.
Indeed, DeVos has a well documented desire to destroy public education while using taxpayer money to subsidize religious education. Last year, speaking about her desire to use taxpayer money to support religious schools, DeVos told her audience:
I know very well there are powerful interests that want to deprive families their God-given freedom. I know that those sycophants of ‘the system’ have kept legislators here from enacting a common-sense program that would open options to thousands of kids in need.
Making her case for public money to be used in supporting private religious schools DeVos cited a recent Supreme Court decision:
As many of you know, the Supreme Court ruled in last year’s Trinity Lutheran case that it was unconstitutional for a playground restoration program funded by state-taxpayers to exclude a school ‘simply because of what it is – a church.’
These amendments should be assigned to the ash heap of history…
The amendments DeVos is talking about are known as Blaine Amendments, “constitutional provisions in 38 of the 50 state constitutions in the United States that forbid direct government aid to educational institutions that have a religious affiliation.”
So when the Secretary of Education says “these amendments should be assigned to the ash heap of history” she is in essence saying the separation of church and state should be assigned to the ash heap of history.
Note: Advocating for an end to the separation of church and state is standard operating procedure for theocratic Christian conservatives like DeVos.
Previously, 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.
Indeed, DeVos is a religious extremist who has made it clear she wants to destroy public education and use taxpayer money to fund Christian schools. She is an anti-secular theocrat with no experience working in public education. However, she has used her immense wealth and influence to try and destroy public education in America.
DeVos never attended public school. She did not send her kids to public school. She has never worked in a public school. She does not have an education degree, and she has never been a teacher. In fact, she has demonstrated an open hostility to public education, and a desire to destroy public education by using taxpayer money to subsidize private, religious schools.
Previously, an alarming report was released by a conservative Christian group with ties to DeVos advocating for the promotion of Christianity in public schools and putting an end to the Department of Education.
Bottom line: In a new proposal Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is demanding that $5 billion in taxpayer money be used to fund private, religious schools.