Why You Should Care About Gov. Jindal’s New Voucher Program

Ideas are tenacious. No matter how laughably wrong and misguided they prove to be, they hang on and proliferate. This isn’t always a bad thing. It depends on the idea.

This, however, is a bad thing. A very bad thing. Louisiana recently instituted a voucher program that would take public money away from public schools and funnel it to private schools that reject evolution in favor of creationism.

Not this again.

Not only do some of the schools receiving state funds reject evolution. According to the Associated Press, some schools teach that the universe — not the Earth, the universe — is only a few thousand years old. Because, you know, the Bible is the most accurate scientific paper. It was peer-reviewed. By God!

We’re not talking about insubstantial amounts of money. Millions of dollars will be diverted from public schools to schools that openly defy scientific evidence in favor of religious dogma. According to the AP:

College student Zack Kopplin, an outspoken critic of teaching creationism in science classrooms, found at least 19 of the 119 mostly religious schools in the voucher program either promote creationism or teach with curricula from Christian textbook publishers that are known to challenge Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

The schools cited by Kopplin’s research have been approved to take in more than 750 voucher students and receive more than $4 million in taxpayer funding, in the first round of announced voucher assignments for the 2012-13 school year that begins next month.

Four million dollars. Four million dollars that could go to teaching actual science. Four million dollars that could go to opening a child’s mind to the wonderful world around him or her, not closing it to those possibilities by telling them that God did it.

According to the Huffington Post, Gov. Bobby Jindal (who has a biology degree, by the way) says that this voucher program will increase competition and give parents a choice.

Jeez, Gov. Jindal. Choice is only a good thing when you actually have good choices. What is happening here? You have parents with children in failing schools. They want to do what they can to get their kids a better education. What these vouchers do is take money away from schools where a kid might have a poor science education and give money to schools that guarantee it. Not smart.

The big question is, why should anyone outside Louisiana care? According to Slate, Gov. Jindal has recently appeared as Mitt Romney’s education surrogate.

Eep. This just got real for the whole country.

Even if this disgusting display of so-called educational reform doesn’t leave the borders of Louisiana, it’s still something you should care about. These children will go out into the world spouting nonsense because they never even had a chance to learn scientific fact from fantasy. This demeans us all. Sign the petition to get public education dollars out of religious education.

Related posts:

Indiana Republicans Push Creationism in Public Schools

More Creationism Bills Advance

Fundamentalists Make Things Up and Call It Science

Image credit: katesheets


Carol Byram
Past Member 5 years ago

I'm definitely a union-loving idiot but at least I have a profile.

Michael G.
Michael T5 years ago

My oh My Barbara, how those winter evenings must just fly by for you.

pam w.
pam w5 years ago

Guess I must be a "union loving idiot," because I value and support free public education with high standards and emphasis on science, math and language, as opposed to myths and magical thinking.

Barbara P.
Barbara p5 years ago

BRAVO GOV. JINDAL! Only union loving idiots would want kids to go to failing schools.

Wayne W.
Wayne W5 years ago

Sorry if I missed this reference already being cited in the article or comments:

14 Wacky "Facts" Kids Will Learn in Louisiana's Voucher Schools

I remember that during the flap over the Texas Board of Education and textbooks, the man in charge of education for all of Texas wanted any reference to the earth rotating, revolving or moving through space removed from textbooks because the Bible says the earth is fixed in the sky.

Is there any hope for America or are we already in a new Medieval Age where belief trumps fact? In the news today there's an article asking if the south should just secede. I say yes.

Joan S.
JC S5 years ago

Extremely scary to me and yet extremely sad that these kids will be growing up with a totally distorted view of the world and life as we know it.

J.L. A.
j A5 years ago

You rarely get what you pay for when public services get contracted out--and like here, in the crucial STEM content areas for the country's future, the quality does not meet standards and if it were a contract, the contract should be rescinded for noncompliance.

Alisha Walker
.5 years ago

Prentise W, if you don't like the public schools in your area, why don't you try to fix them? Government should not support private schools unless they are also controlling the curriculum, which is probably a bad idea. In SC where I live, a voucher program was presented several years ago. In addition to the cost of administration, the vouchers awarded more money for each child attending a private school than was spent on the average child in a public school. This means it cost tax payers more money than if the child had stayed in public school, and the kids still in those public schools ended up paying the price because less money was spent on those children that was given to voucher students. If we take all the middle and high class students out of public schools, the lower class and poorer students will pay the price when parents and politicians start neglecting public schools because their kids don’t go there. Separate is inherently unequal, and vouchers do not allow every child to attend private school because some parents can’t afford to make up the difference. Vouchers treat poorer kids like second class citizens and remove the benefits they receive when the system is consolidated and economies of scale are created. For example, I went to a large high school with over 5,000 kids. Because of the number of kids, I was able to take classes and participate in programs that couldn’t have been supported by smaller schools. When you take money and kids

Sri V.
sri V5 years ago

Beth U., excellent point about "understand the Judaism that Jesus practiced" That is the crux. Pauline Christianity and the Church has blacked out Jesus's efforts to purify the temples of Judaism in his day and the enormous influence on Jesus of prophets like Hillel. And now we have a literal approach to poor translations (from translations) of the "New Testament" and no understanding of the "Old Testament". The whole movement on education appears to me an onslaught against Intelligence and Education from the Neanderthals Glenna J. and Carl O.are quite right. Clearly as in the case of Jindal education has not helped. Unless of course it is an appeal to the Idiot Vote Bank. Which is evidence of lack of integrity of a high order. It is a shame that he is of Indian origin. He is denying the ancient tradition of seeking the highest knowledge

Prentise Wylie
pre,tpse w5 years ago

Private non-religious schools can be far superior to the terrible quality of most public schools, and education vouchers should be available for those. This would be a great help to parents who want actual quality learning for their children, either through private schools such as Montessori and Waldorf, or through home schooling; a lot of nonreligious homeschoolers would prefer a good private school, but they can't afford it, and don't want to subject their children to the dumbing down, overcrowding, bad food, and other drawbacks of most public schools.

Since religion has nothing to do with public education, vouchers should not support religious schools. Now, if we can just achieve that.