Good for the so-called conservative majority on the United States Supreme Court for standing up “for the children” of America by ruling that tax credits that help to pay for kids to attend religious schools are allowed under Constitutional law. This is a major educational ruling.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Reagan appointee and a thoroughly unreliable conservative, stood with reliable conservatives Roberts, Thomas, Alito and Scalia in upholding the right of Arizona citizens to aid children to escape the public education system without being roasted on the tired canard of ‘separation of church and state’.
After decades in which our rogue public education bureaucracy has fought any and all challenge to its authority, claiming that the schools are being run “for the children”, we finally have a court ruling that will start to undo the damage that our public schools have done to tens of millions of kids across the United States.
Because we have discovered over and over that public schools are really run “for the teacher unions”. Period. End of story.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey even recently said, “I believe the teachers in New Jersey in the main are wonderful public servants that care deeply. But their union, their union are a group of political thugs.”
Kaboom…. And hooray for Christie. That is refreshing and honest commentary from a man who increasing numbers of people believe will someday be president.
The recent 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision upholds an Arizona tax credit of up to $500 per person or $1,000 for a couple who donate to organizations that in turn pay tuition for students to attend the state’s private and parochial schools. Most of the Arizona money – 92% – goes to religious schools.
The niggling sum that results from this court action is the first baby step to undoing decades of financial abuse in which parents who sent their children to religious schools received zero rebate from the government. In other words, the public schools (i.e., the unions) were taking those parents’ money and spending it – on themselves – but never were being required to educate those millions of children. This has been a huge windfall to public education that the Supreme Court ruling only begins to remedy.
This decision will certainly usher in a new wave of state legislation to foster educational opportunities though much more effective charter schools and religious schools at a time when public schools are being openly challenged across the nation.
California charter schools are significantly contributing to closing the performance gap between low-income and affluent communities, according to a report from the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA). The inaugural Portrait of the Movement report reviews the academic performance of charter schools across the state, details their strengths and weaknesses, and provides a framework of minimum performance criteria to press for greater accountability of low-performing charter schools.
The report includes performance data for 720 charter schools compared against 7,454 non-charter schools. The study indicates high-achieving charter schools serve a disproportionate number of students from low-income populations than traditional public schools in the state.
According to the report, 42.2 percent of low-income charter school students attend schools in the top 10th percentile of California schools, compared to just 10.6 percent of low-income students attending non-charter schools in the top 10th percentile. That gap appears particularly significant considering the percentage of low-income students attending schools in the bottom 10th percentile are relatively equal between charter schools (9.7 percent of low-income students) and non-charters (11.3 percent). (end of excerpt)
Awesome. No wonder the public unions want these superior schools silenced. Because they show public education to be the failure that it is.
Attorneys general from 13 states had urged the Court to allow the Arizona incentives citing laws in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island that allow them. The ruling is likely to encourage more such legislation because tax credits are more politically palatable and less controversial than direct state aid to religious schools.
Naturally the ruling spurred on the secular zealots like the Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who said the ruling “betrays the public school system by directing tax dollars to religious schools. The court has bought into the legal fiction that tax credits are not state aid to private schools.”
Since the 1960s, the Supreme Court repeatedly has invoked the 1st Amendment to strike down laws using public money in any way, shape or conduit to aid religious schools. The current case began when several Arizona residents challenged the state’s tax credits. The notoriously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the tax credits were an unconstitutional subsidy for teaching religion. Justice Kennedy threw out the entire lawsuit, saying that the objecting taxpayers had no standing to sue.
Elena Kagan, the newest Supreme Court associate justice, spoke for Court liberals in saying the ruling “offers a road map — more truly, a one-step instruction” for those who want to use public monies to fund religious education.
Kagan, Lynn and others on the public-school left have bent over backwards to keep any hint of religion out of our educational system and never have given an inch toward any reform that might just favor children. Yet per-pupil spending in public schools has risen rapidly over the last 30 years, while educational results have plummeted. Religious and charter schools have produced better results with much less money.
Because the problem is not money – it is government control. Lord Acton wrote that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. And the absolute power that the Democrat left and its teacher union cronies have amassed over public education has given them a corrupt authority over both the exorbitant costs and the outrageous content of our current public ed system. The recent Supreme Court ruling will start America on the road to ending decades of abuse.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.