Yesterday, the Kansas House voted in support of a $500 million increase in public school funding over the next five years. It came in response to a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling that said the schools were being illegally underfunded. It’s not a done deal yet — there was a filibuster in the State Senate last night — but it’s a start.
During the debate, however, State Rep. Randy Garber argued that funding wasn’t a solution to the public education crisis. What students really needed was more prayer.
“I say the way to fix our schools is to put prayer and the Bible back in and give it a chance,” said Rep. Randy Garber of Sabetha.
Garber contended that SAT scores fell once state-sponsored prayer was prohibited in 1963. Some Christians believe that the prohibition of state-sponsored prayer led to lower test scores and other problems.
“STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) skyrocketed, birth rates among unwed girls skyrocketed, and our answer to that is abortion. We won’t talk about that today. Pregnancies to girls under 15 skyrocketed. Aggravated assault arrests — I could go on and on,” Garber said.
Prayer and the Bible — both of which are still perfectly legal in public schools, no matter how much conservative Christians say otherwise — isn’t going to pay teachers what they deserve, cover necessary classroom resources, or help schools maintain basic upkeep.
There’s also no evidence that a lack of forced Christian prayer has led to a decline in SAT scores because how the hell would there be any evidence of that?
At least some people had the good sense to say Garber’s crazy:
Mark Desetti, a lobbyist for the Kansas National Education Association, said there is prayer in schools each day — there just isn’t organized, directed prayer for one faith.
“The idea that suddenly if kids are praying, or if kids are under orders to pray, that it’s going to solve everything — that’s just the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” Desetti said.
It’s irrational thinking like Garber’s that got Kansas into their economic hole. They need better minds to pull them out of it.
(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Brian for the link)