I hope a lot of people are concerned by a $100 million voucher proposal recently announced by House Republicans. The bill would provide voucher money to poor communities where public schools aren’t meeting the testing standards imposed by the No Child Left Behind Act.
(And to think some folks wondered what the real strategy behind NCLB was. The law’s goal isn’t to fix public schools—it’s to show how bad some of them are doing in order to justify vouchers.)
Although the bill’s sponsors acknowledged that Congress isn’t likely to vote on it this year, the very attempt proves that the religious right and the Republicans who do their bidding are indeed one rascally group.
Getting poor people to buy in on the voucher idea is a smart strategy, because it hits the public schools where they’re most vulnerable—in the country’s most economically devastated areas, where any kind of school would have a tough time educating children. Pandering to the poor also creates the illusion of the G.O.P. as champions of the disadvantaged. (You may have just choked on your coffee as you read that last sentence, but, hey, money talks in politics.)