I have always thought that charter schools were a dodgy way for conservatives to end-run the woefully underfunded public schools, and if you’re of a certain age, they remind you of all the “private schools” that happened to open in Alabama right after the Supreme Court ruled on school desegregation. What a coincidence, I’m sure.
In several states, including Florida, the clamor for charter schools — ostensibly private schools funded by money taken from the public schools and turned over to entrepreneurs (aka “job creators”) — led to very little accountability on the part of the schools, so you ended up with stories like this, where a charter school was teaching kids in the daytime and offering lap dances by night. Which is ironic because its always the right wingers who are complaining that the lack of oversight on the use of public funds leads to waste, fraud, and abuse. (I guess it all depends on what kind of abuse you’re into.)
Charter schools were also seen as a way around those pesky Supreme Court rulings that mythology such as Creationism had no place in the science curriculum. Jesus Christ on a dinosaur is the true reality, children, no matter what those secular humanists say, and why shouldn’t tax dollars go to pay for it? And in the great state of Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal, the rising star of the non-Romney GOP, got his legislature to pass a bill giving vouchers to folks who wanted to send their children to schools where they wouldn’t hear the heresy of the Earth being billions of years old and that it orbited around the Sun. That was considered progress in education.
But last week a state court ruled that the Louisiana voucher plan that diverted public funds to private schools was unconstitutional.
In a comment after the ruling, Gov. Jindal said, apparently without irony, “The opinion sadly ignores the rights of families who do not have the means necessary to escape failing schools.” Well, maybe if you weren’t taking public money away from the public schools and giving it to these private schools, those public schools wouldn’t be failing in the first place.