Post #34, Bob McKnight's Subscription Commentary
"The emotional and political strain of public funding for privatization will test us all."
Many would argue that other than our safety and security, Americans feel their hard earned taxes should go toward education. Almost every candidate asks to be known as "The Education ____________." Just fill in President, Senator, Representative, Governor, School Board member, etc. Futurists say that a quality education is the key to the success of any country in the world today. Some military minds also say education is critically important for the safety and security in our world. But consider;
Many state constitutions, including Florida, include language establishing 'funding a quality public education,' as a sacrosanct government responsibility.
But some conservative critics say that language was inserted at the whim of the public teacher unions, and should be adjusted to circumstances.
Many like President Trump argue that individual choices should apply to education, and have pushed funding for private schools as an alternative to public education.
But that simple decision flies in the face of using public funds for a private purpose, even religious.
Clever legislators have joined the choice movement by earmarking the private school funding to minorities of race and disabilities, to win over emotional support.
Private entrepreneurial investors have joined the fight aligning themselves with churches, but with suspect educational administration integrity.
The courts have only ruled on educational choice on the edges of the issue and that is Brown versus Board of Education, requiring equal education of all students in 1954.
Using public funds for private education, at the expense of public education is the issue.
If settled, the same issue will probably apply to social services and criminal justice--it is called privatization.
With the new Supreme Court, the public funding for privatization issue is expected to join abortion as the two greatest public policy issues to be further litigated in our lifetime.
The emotional and political strain on our country will test us all.