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Radical voucher initiative on Florida's ballot will allow public school money to private schools

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 06:24 PM
Original message
Radical voucher initiative on Florida's ballot will allow public school money to private schools
and religious private schools. It is a far more dangerous thing than most realize here. It would allow the constitution to be tampered with so vouchers could continue to be given to private religious achools with the use of public money.

The extremists in the Florida legislature are not about to give up their drive for their agenda of privatizing the public schools...and doing it by any means possible.

Radical Initiative On Ballot

But there's more to the story than the headline and the voucher initiative - much, much more. The voucher and another proposal would, if approved by voters: Eliminate a wise, time-honored clause in the Florida Constitution that prevents government revenue from being "taken from the public treasury in aid of any church, sect or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution."

Undermine the constitutional requirement that the state fulfill its "paramount duty" to provide all children residing in Florida with the opportunity to obtain a high-quality education in public schools.


These proposed changes to the state constitution are as radical as they are unwise.


Here is more on the subject. No one is really presenting the true agenda behind this initiative. I don't see anyone on local TV pointing out the danger to public schools, I don't see or hear any Democrats being especially public about it.


REHASHING A SETTLED ARGUMENT The Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, a 24-member panel appointed by state officials, was empowered to propose changes to the constitution and state law. The commission's mission - established by voters - was to examine budget, revenue and expenditure practices and policies in a thoughtful, big-picture way that governors and legislators find difficult to do under intense political pressures.

Yet two of the seven proposed amendments to the constitution seek to rehash an argument that was settled - correctly - by the Florida Supreme Court in 2006.


The amendments were orchestrated by allies of former Gov. Jeb Bush. Unfortunately, enough of the commissioners supported placing the measures - which clearly focus on constitutional principles, not taxation and budget - on the ballot.


Allies like Marco Rubio, House speaker, who who even panders to the religious right by writing in the Florida Baptist Witness that he would fight evolution for them.

I expect our Democrats to get off their butts and speak out against this. Speak out clearly and loudly.



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ck4829 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. But, how will they know if their money isn't going to fund wizard schools?
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. "I expect our Democrats to get off their butts and speak out against this."
If only ;(
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
3. Is this supposed to be a test case to overturn The Lemon three-prong test?
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. I had to look that up. Wow.
http://www.machineslikeus.com/cms/from-scopes-to-dover-...

They keep pushing all of that here. First I heard of that test.

Thanks, will read more.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. nothing surprises me any longer
nothing
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. FLDS may have to move
to Florida. They are not ones to pass up any religious welfare.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
6. More...this is really bad stuff. Could lead to legislature directly financing private schools.
From the Palm Beach Post.

"Supporters say the measure, approved Friday by a powerful commission, is meant for vouchers and other programs such as Bright Futures scholarships, but opponents say it could open the door for legislators to directly finance private schools - possibly a first in the country."

That is the part that jumped out at me.

Where is the effing outrage!

"That's because on Friday, voucher supporters topped that measure with one likely to be widely supported - requiring 65 percent of all education dollars to be spent in the classroom, not on administrative or bureaucratic costs.

Both items will appear as a single ballot question in November, with the so-called 65 percent solution first.

"I do understand what bait-and-switch means," said former state House member and American Bar Association President Sandy D'Alemberte, who sits on the commission. "When you combine two different measures and give them (voters) only one chance to vote, you're not giving them a chance to vote against something."


http://www.palmbeachpost.com/state/content/state/epaper...

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Elspeth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
7. We need to recommend this thread. I'll be the first.
:kick:
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Thanks. It is really scary stuff.
They have pushed the bill to allow teachers not to teach evolution, pushed a bill to require ultrasound before abortion...other bills with religious theme.

They only barely fail to pass. Just barely.
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Elspeth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. It's destroying public education by privatization
And we see how well that has worked in other parts of government.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Exactly. It spite of court rulings.
They are trying to kill the public schools by redistributing the money.
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Captain Sensible Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Soo...
.. the private sector is not as well run as the government bureaucracies????????????
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. Sooo...you want to let the private sector take control of education?
What a terribly scary thought.

They have done such a good job of keeping our country solvent and strong. :sarcasm:

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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
12. kick
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susankh4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
14. I think we have a Dem candidate that is open to school vouchers
don't we?

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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
15. This sucks. I hope people will be rallying in Tallahassee and/or
contacting their Congresscritters.

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RubyDuby in GA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
16. The nutjobs GOPers here in GA are watching this and licking their chops
They are hoping it goes through so they can try to push it through here.
I am sick and tired of them trying to kill public education!
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Where are the Democrats in both states speaking out on it? Loudly.
Oh, wait, the ones in my state are too busy protesting the DNC to worry about such silly things. :shrug:

The Democrats did not speak out publicly against the tax amendment on the Jan. 29 ballot.

I don't hear a word now.
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RubyDuby in GA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. That would require our Dems here in GA to actually have half a brain
And since that would be a medical miracle nowadays...
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
19. Column on this from a month ago:
http://southflorida.metromix.com/politics/article/danat...

<snip>

The other proposed constitutional amendment that has generated controversy materialized last week, when the state's Taxation and Budget Reform Commission voted to ax the constitutional ban on state funding for religious institutions, which opened the door for a revival of former Gov. Jeb Bush's school-vouchers program, which the courts killed in 2004. Good Lord, but Jeb's tentacles reach everywhere. The man will always be with us, influencing the state from behind the sequestered rooms of his Coral Gables high-rise, rather like a latter-day Howard Hughes, only more evil and less neurotic. Vouchers are, of course, an excellent way to snuff out an already sagging public-education system in Florida. This is great if you view a child's education as a useful commodity as opposed to, say, an education. It's the sort of free-market-as-panacea solution we've come to expect from Jeb and his ilk. But, of course, in the meantime, we're left with cripplingly underfunded public schools, the possible government regulation of private schools and a bunch of parents holding vouchers for expensive academies that, even with the vouchers, they still may be unable to afford. And where does it end? How long until the Bible becomes the commonly accepted textbook for world-history classes?

But more than just the end of public education as we know it, the proposed amendment to end the ban on state funding for religious institutions opens up all sorts of potentially disastrous doors. Whenever people arguing one side of a political debate or another claim the Founding Fathers would be on their side, I tend to grit my teeth. It's the polar opposite of saying the Nazis would be on the side of one's opponent. But in this case, it's apropos. Freedom of religion is one of this country's founding principles.

And public funding of religious institutions would invariably favor some over others or is it really possible that our state Legislature would give funds to Wiccan covens, radical Islamic madrassas or some other currently out-of-vogue sect? Clearly not, and while those are extreme examples, it's easy to imagine a heavily Christian Legislature that overlooks funding Jewish programs, or even the most well-funded and well-lobbied Christian sects getting more funding than lesser lights.

Such favoritism is perhaps what Thomas Jefferson had in mind when he wrote, "Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Nice post.
Florida has crossed the line between religion and government so often. Sometimes they get stopped....sometimes not.

It is their mission. Crist is just a face right now since Jeb's buddies still control the legislature.
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