When she’s not getting booed by college students, Betsy DeVos‘ day job is to make public education worse all over the country. Looks like she’s close to achieving that goal, according to budget documents obtained by the Washington Post, and one of the biggest ways she’ll do it is by funneling money from public schools to religious ones.
Funding for college work-study programs would be cut in half, public-service loan forgiveness would end and hundreds of millions of dollars that public schools could use for mental health, advanced coursework and other services would vanish under a Trump administration plan to cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, according to budget documents obtained by The Washington Post.
The administration would channel part of the savings into its top priority: school choice. It seeks to spend about $400 million to expand charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools, and another $1 billion to push public schools to adopt choice-friendly policies.
That $400 million gift isn’t just about “school choice.” It’s about using taxpayer dollars to fund religious indoctrination. In some voucher problems, like the one in Florida, taxpayers are funding the teaching of Creationism in science class, the idea that homosexuality is wrong, and corporal punishment.
It’s also dangerous for the religious schools themselves since they’re opening themselves up to “government audits, control, and interference.” But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from conservatives over the past year, it’s that they don’t really care about principles. As long as they’re getting certain gifts from the government, like judges who decide cases based on what the Bible says and promise to overturn Roe v. Wade, they’ll let everything else slide.
Also: Vouchers don’t work. They don’t improve students’ academic achievement. If this administration cared about facts and data, they’d admit that. But they don’t, and Republicans don’t have the guts to challenge them, so the wall between church and state is on the verge of seeing another major crack next week.
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