School vouchers have been an end around the separation of church and state for decades. They allow a state to indirectly fund private schools and most of those private schools are operated by religious groups. Political conservatives also use vouchers to choke the funding of public schools with the goal for there to be no government-run common schools.
Ohio has recently had a Confluence of these two viewpoints as the conservative dominated legislature was set to expand a school voucher program using a flawed performance model that private schools don’t even have to abide by. The proposed expansion also drew a large coalition of districts into the fight because it would start hitting previously untouched and thought to be good Suburban schools.
I’ll discuss these issues and more in today’s episode.
WTOL Toledo News Report 02/25/2020
Ohio Channel: Conference Committee 2/20/2020 Am sub HB9
Dayton Daily News: High-scoring public schools now subject to private school voucher program
This is an issue I feel strongly about and not just because of the violation of the separation of church and state – by laundering tax dollars to religious schools. I also believe in government transparency and Ohio is failing on school funding. I appreciate the renewed outrage about the flawed grade card system but where were the suburban schools years ago when it started. Too much of the debate has ignored the schools in tax poor areas and the continued unconstitutionality of the Ohio school funding system. As I say in the episode, a properly funded government-run common schools is better for society as a whole especially if you are looking to give a hand up to those who are struggling.
Let me know what you think.