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Letter to the editor: Vouchers: Am I the only one who smells a rat?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 12:01 am

I am appalled, to say the least, at the gall of Republicans to scream about how the current administration is violating the Constitution every time one turns around. They need to take a long look in the mirror or count the fingers pointing back at them when they point theirs.

The moral high ground they claim so stridently might actually be falling into a sinkhole — the old “Let he without sin cast the first stone” line from the Bible.

While doing research for an argument paper for my English class, I ran across some interesting things in regards to the school voucher program, which I was opposing in my essay — facts that not only shocked and astounded me but even made me angry (fuming mad might be a better description!). The information I found drove me to issue the challenge to those who support the voucher system to defend your stance under Constitutional law and moral ethics.

In May, Gov. Pence signed “House Enrolled Act 1003” in a Christian school. In March the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that vouchers going to religious schools did not violate Article I, dealing with separation of church and state. Am I the only one who smells a rat here?

According to Diane Ravitch in her book “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” the original idea of “Charter Schools/Academies” arose from the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954. Desegregation prompted many Southern states to offer “schools of choice.” Virginia even gave grants to parents for tuition to “private schools” so their children would not have to attend schools with black children. She goes on to call these “segregation academies.” Basically they can pick and choose what students they accept and profit off taxpayer funding.

I admit I am a renter, so I do not directly pay property taxes. But anyone who thinks my landlord does not include those taxes in my monthly rent is more or less ignorant of business practices. Therefore, in a roundabout way I am supporting religious tenets and curriculum practices I do not agree with. Not to mention what might even be racial or even sexual orientation prejudice.

Is the next generation to be enlightened or frightened, educated or indoctrinated, set free or enslaved? Will the needs of the many outweigh the greed of the few? Think carefully on that. I would put good money (down that) if we dug up Thomas Jefferson he has rolled over in his grave.

Michael J. Ward