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FL vouchers send 30,000 students to over 1,000 private Florida schools..80 percent are religious.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 06:35 PM
Original message
FL vouchers send 30,000 students to over 1,000 private Florida schools..80 percent are religious.
So much for keeping a wall between church and state.

This article is discussing Rick Scott's support of more vouchers for education, and it mentions how the Jeb Bush scholarship program was dismantled by the courts.

A state appeals court declared the vouchers unconstitutional because they violated a state ban on mixing church and state. Ducking that issue, the Florida Supreme Court said the vouchers weakened the quality of the states public schools.

Still, two other voucher programs remain: the McKay Scholarship program for disabled children and the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program for poor children. The latter is primarily funded with corporate tax credits as well as credits for taxes on insurance. In return for providing the scholarship money, corporations receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits. The program sends more than 30,000 students to more than 1,000 private Florida schools, of which about 80 percent are religious.


Scott's voucher plan


And the tax money going to public schools will be reduced by about 31 million next year alone.

Hat tip to the website called NOT Waiting for Superman for reminding us who is behind the push to fund private religious schools with public taxpayer money.

The site refers to an article by the Arkansas Times called Who's your sugar daddy?

Many right-wing groups promote school vouchers, a way to get public money for church schools, but according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, "The undisputed sugar daddy in the world of voucher groups is the Walton Family Foundation. In fact, it's hard to imagine a voucher movement without the Walton clan."

Headquartered in Bentonville, as is Walmart, the Walton Family Foundation is operated by the heirs of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. An article in the September issue of Church & State, the publication of Americans United, says "the foundation dished out $175,490,114 in 2008. While much of the money went to community groups, universities and charitable organizations, a huge chunk went to pro-voucher organizations as well. The Alliance for School Choice, for example, got $2,231,880."

The Alliance for School Choice is a pro-voucher lobby group in Washington. Also located in Washington is the Black Alliance for Educational Options: "Formed by Howard Fuller at Marquette University, a Roman Catholic institution, the BAEO is a front group that purports to represent African Americans who are pro-voucher. Far from being grassroots-driven, the organization receives much of its funding from right-wing foundations, including the Walton Family Foundation, the John Olin Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. In 2008, the BAEO received more than half of its funding, $2,050,000, from the Walton Family Foundation." The BAEO's annual budget is $3,838,229, according to the article.

A similar group is the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options. Based in Lake Worth, Fla., it seeks to mobilize the Latino community in support of vouchers. The council has a budget of just over $1 million, $200,000 of which came from the Walton Foundation.


Encouraging the poor, needy, disabled and minorities to go to private schools or charters with public tax money...I wonder at the reasoning behind that.

Americans United has some figures on the Walton Foundation contributions.

Numerous Groups Push For Public Funding Of Religious Schools

Whos behind the campaign for school vouchers? One thing is clear: Its not average Americans. Several national organizations promote voucher aid to religious and other private schools, but they rely for money on a handful of right-wing funders, led by the Walton Family Foundation. Here is a list of the major players. All budget figures are taken from publicly available documents and are from fiscal year 2008-2009 or calendar year 2008.

Walton Family Foundation
Headquarters: Bentonville, Ark.
Budget: $421,806,176
Description: The undisputed sugar daddy in the world of voucher groups is the Walton Family Foundation. In fact, its hard to imagine a voucher movement without the Walton clan. Operated by the heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, the foundation dished out $175,490,114 in 2008. While much of the money went to community groups, universities and charitable organizations, a huge chunk went to pro-voucher organizations as well. The Alliance for School Choice, for example, got $2,231,880.


Other top big players are The Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute.

The Arkansas Times article further points out that the Walton Foundation also pushes for charter schools in the state, and goes on to show their further influence.

The Waltons and other super-rich Arkansans have for some time assailed the state's public schools and encouraged the formation of more charter schools. They're cheered on by the state's largest newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, whose publisher, Walter Hussman, is another antagonist of public schools and teachers' unions. The Walton Family Foundation also has a senior officer, Naccaman Williams, in a place where he regularly influences school policy in Arkansas as chairman of the state Board of Education. He has said he sees no conflict in acting on school-choice matters the board considers.


The push for religious schools to get more public taxpayer money either as charters or in the form of vouchers....is really working well.

Catholic schools converting to charters to get taxpayer money to help them survive financially.

Two Catholic elementary schools in Indianapolis will convert to public charter schools and receive nearly $1 million in state funding, according to a plan that was recently authorized by city officials.

.."Just like schools in all the other states, the Indianapolis schools have agreed to stop religious instruction and remove religious symbols in order to receive the public funding. But for the first time, an archdiocese will retain control and continue to run the public school a move that makes church-state separationists more than a little nervous, to say the least.


And in Florida even more of them.

And so, the Archdiocese of Miami will begin its experiment with charter schools this fall. What was intended as a pilot program at one parish Corpus Christi in Wynwood will become, for financial reasons, the norm at seven more. Charters also will open in August where five other Catholic schools closed this June: Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Divine Providence in Sweetwater, St. Francis Xavier in Overtown, St. Stephen in Miramar and St. Clement in Fort Lauderdale.

A seventh charter will open at St. Malachy in Tamarac, which opted to close its school before its financial situation deteriorated further. And an eighth charter will open in Miami Gardens, in the building used by St. Monica School until it closed in May 2008.

Charter schools are free, funded by public dollars, so religion cannot be taught during the school day. Unlike traditional public schools, however, charter schools operate independently of the local school board and have more leeway in managing day-to-day operations.

Because the parishes are leasing their former school buildings to the charter schools, they are deriving income from the properties. The amount ranges between $150,000 and $350,000 this first year, depending on the size, capacity and condition of the facilities, according to Fernando Zulueta, president of Academica, a company that provides management and support services for most of the charter schools opening on archdiocesan properties.


I have noticed recently that there appears to be little concern even among Democrats that the barrier between religion and government is being broken down so easily in the field of education.
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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. That's why it's common knowledge, at least where I came from in
the north, don't move here until your kids are out of school. Glad I waited, and thank you Jeb, you scum.
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1776Forever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. You said it! I was told that in 1986 by a Floridian from Hollywood. I took her advice and moved
Edited on Sun Oct-10-10 07:21 PM by 1776Forever
down after my children had all graduated High School in the North. I was very glad I did after moving there and seeing what a racket it was. There are a few good public schools there though. I never understood how Jebby got away with so much but it was obvious he had a big hand in the private school issue!
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
2. I went to private school from K-3rd grade
Not once did my parents ever demand that the government pick up the tab.

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HockeyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Same here
My parents sent me to a parochial school for the education, and safety. Twelve years of catholic school cured me of religion. I sent my own kids to public school although we were well able to afford the alternatives.

If you want your kids to attend a RELIGIOUS school, YOU pay for it, not with US citzens tax dollars. Remember, though, Florida is still the BIBLE BELT. Far too many people seem to forget that.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. k & r
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
6. But then there are plenty here who think that's just fine....
Charters for everyone because "they care about the children." Bullshit.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
7. Part of the on-going plan/plot to destroy public education. AS IF all private schools have better
teachers!
Yeah, the best always go for that lower pay and no union representation or tenure.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
8. Throwing money at charter schools, throwing "stones at public schools"
Interesting article from School Finance 101 blog.

http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/if-mon... /

"Then why do venture philanthropists continue to throw money at charter schools while throwing stones at traditional public schools?

Charter school backers like Whitney Tilson love to throw stones at public schools while throwing money at charter schools. Heres one of his presentations:

http://www.tilsonfunds.com/Personal/TheCriticalNeedforG...

On Slide 13, Whitney Tilson opines that increased spending on public education has yielded no return to outcomes over time, and therefore, by extension, increased spending would not and could not help public schools in the future. Tilson is featured prominently in this New York Times article on affluent fund managers in NYC rallying for charter schools: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/10/nyregion/10charter.ht...

So, here we have one of many prominent New York City charter school supporters on the one hand arguing that throwing more money at the public school system could not possibly help that system, but on the other hand, providing substantial financial assistance to charter schools (or at least participating in and promoting groups that engage in such activity)?"
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Well, in the second scenario, the money gets thrown back and him and his buddies.
So therefore it is better. Tilson is an outright raider. His crocodile tears about children on his blog make me want to vomit. He should change his name to Wackford Squeers.
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Irishonly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
10. My daughter went to a Brethren School for a year
I loved the reading, language parts of the program. I ABSOLUTELY hated the social studies and science. We did our own science and social studies at home that year. We moved her because I didn't want her to become inept in some subjects.

It's just wrong. I think a lot of parents don't have a clue as to what their children are being taught. I know there are also a lot that buy into the BS. Religious schools should never receive any federal funding at all.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #10
21. I know what you mean about the social studies and science.
The religious schools in our area teach only the creationism view, leave out some very important people in our history because their views don't coincide.
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Irishonly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. What they did to the founding fathers
still makes my blood boil. They made Jefferson sound like a Bible toting evangelical preacher. Science consisted of God made this and that. Ack
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Just One Woman Donating Member (199 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
11. Privatizing the Schools
There are privatizing the schools. Same thing that they have done with the prisons. Many ramifications. One of which is to control of what is taught to the poor and disadvantaged.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Good point.
I believe they have gone so far as to say they are preparing students for the global economy...not so much about learning but preparation for the job force to come.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 11:14 PM
Response to Original message
13. Amazing, truly.
This post has been off and on the greatest page with 5 to 7 votes then back to 6 to 4.

Really not an important issue except that I am surprised so many would unrec a post about giving public money to religious private schools. But then I guess I should not be surprised.

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blackspade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. Recommended by Me!
As always, I much enjoy (while seething with rage) your posts!
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
14. If I figure correctly that is about 800 religious private schools...
getting taxpayer money in Florida.
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-10-10 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
15. American Madrassa???
why the hell not.

world wide religious war,

just a shot away,

just a shot away.....
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
16. Change that will make you throw up. kr nt
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:31 AM
Response to Original message
17. The current democrats in power are foolish enough
to think they can persuade disaffected religious conservatives a part of the democratic party. They simply do not understand that the religious conservatives pretty much view them as complete infidels and will never join them. I don't know how you get the democrats in power to understand that fact.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. You are right....no matter how many concessions are made
The religious right will not vote Democratic. All the giving in, all the giving up of rights for women and gays, all the money going to religious schools won't cause them to vote Democratic.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
19. NOT waiting for Superman website has links for good reading.
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mudplanet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
23. You only noticed RECENTLY that there's an absence of concern about
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 04:33 PM by mudplanet
the division between church and state?

They wore us out. Starting with Raygun the conservatives managed to mainstream the idea that they have a right to teach their children to hate Blacks and Jews and anyone else that looks different or thinks differently. And to use public money to do so. Like it or not, that's the America of today.

Yet the most common stance I hear from moderates is that we should be "moderate" and "fair" in our politics, that we shouldn't "sink to their level." Yet the conservative element has continually dominated American culture and politics for nearly a half century now and it looks like, by continuing to employ lies, hatred, violence and dishonesty, they have managed to redefine "America." Conservatives have literally bullied themselves into control of America. And, given that, for the most part, the conservatives doing the bullying are cowards and trash with substandard intelligence, this doesn't say much for Americans in general.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Well, when Bush was pushing these policies....we were against them.
But now we are for them because Obama is pushing them.

It addles my brain.
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