First of all, a little information. I have two granddaughters who attend Florida’s public schools. My daughter and I have discussed the state’s school system many times. Florida ranks 29th in public school education in the nation.
Rick Scott is Florida’s Republican Governor. He is about to sign a $419 million bill for K-12 schools. Although the bill is opposed by most education groups, including superintendents statewide, almost all elected school boards, and parent groups and teachers unions, he is supporting Republicans in the legislature who support the bill, as well as ‘school choice proponents,’ and operators of charter schools who will greatly benefit from this legislation.
Charter schools will receive the bulk of the money, with $30 million going to school vouchers.
Scott is supporting Secretary of Education Besty DeVos’ efforts to eliminate public education in support of private schools. Her stated ambition is to place more of our nation’s children into Christian institutions.
The reputation of Christian elementary schools is not acceptable. More emphasis is placed upon religion than the fundamentals, and teachers are often less competent. How do I know? Personal experience.
I attended Catholic school for ten years. After my second year of high school, I begged my mother to allow me to attend public school for my last two years. She honored my request.
Most of my teachers were excellent, but the most important result was that I learned to think independently. My life was literally changed in multiple ways. Probably the most important difference was interaction with other students who were not white and Christian. African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, members of the Jewish faith, and even girls shared my classes and after school activities.
Education is more than memorizing facts from books. All religions worship the same god, and some students did not believe in any particular religion. Learning is an experience, and the result of that experience should be the creation of individuals who think for themselves and question everything. They must be able to engage in discussion and exchange ideas.
Private schools are often bigoted and sometimes racist. Scott and DeVos are wrong for Florida, and wrong for America.
Please re-post; thank you.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Image courtesy of DonkeyHotey
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