Monday, January 28, 2008

So I'm watching the State of the Union Address because...well, because I don't have cable, really.

The president wants to provide over $300 Million in "Pell Grants for Kids" for private school tuition.

I have a problem with that.

Here in Baton Rouge, our public schools are literally falling down around the students. That is not exaggeration. At the elementary school my church sponsors, the men in the congregation volunteer all summer long to do necessary maintenance because the school district won't pay for it. We're talking about things like fixing leaking plumbing, replacing ceiling tiles, and repairing broken floor tiles, not just things like painting.

Yet the private schools are thriving, and building brand new buildings, even the ones in the inner city.

Yet our fearless leader wants to give them more federal tax money, instead of giving it to our "failing public schools" (those are his words, by the way).

What is wrong with this picture?

Now, I'm not against the government giving money to private and faith-based organizations. In fact, for social services, I think they should, providing those organizations don't proseltyze or discriminate. Those organizations can frequently do a better job of providing social services at a much better rate than the government.

But when our free public schools are not able to educate our children effectively because they just don't have the money for things like maintenance and books, taking money away from them and giving to to private schools is not the answer.

Thank God we have less than 12 months left of that man. Of course, I'm afraid of what might come next.

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