Sunday, August 19, 2007

2008 Presidential Rat Race: Giuliani again...

He is in favor of public funding of abortion and embryonic stem cell research, and personally gives his money to Planned Parenthood, even though he is "personally opposed" to abortion (when he could just as easily have given it to pregnancy centers that counsel women on options he does approve of, such as adoption). That is enough to put this blogger off of ever voting for him in the primaries.

Now, out of an attempt to gain the approval of more conservative republicans, we have a candidate who embraces one of the least forward-thinking educational policies to come out of his party. In short, we have one more reason why this blogger sincerely hopes the former New York Mayor does not get the Republican nomination:

He is in favor of state-funded vouchers going to private schools.

Now, that sounds fine as long as the government is run by people who won't interfere in the workings of private religious institutions. But what would happen if Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton (or their ilk) ran the show, after private religious schools had come to depend upon publicly funded vouchers? The picture doesn't look so pretty to me now.

Here's a novel idea. Let's not adopt policies that will come back to bite us if the other side gains power. Let's keep the vouchers in the public system--and stop forcing the parents of private school students to pay extra taxes for a service they don't use. Then everybody gets what they need. The public schools get the competition that will help them to live up to their potential, and the private schools need not have any conflicts with the state.

This last feature is crucial. We need to have one section of the educational world that is free from the underhanded political abuse of the public education system we already see in certain public schools and other organizations that receive government money. In the UK, government funding is not even needed as a tool of manipulation. Merely providing a public service such as adoption in cooperation with the state is enough to create problems.

While we have the legal wiggle room to do so, we should protect the Church from the State. Let's not go asking for trouble.

Related posts:
On the Nature and Purpose of Public Education.
Public Money and Private Schools.
Rethinking Schools--but without school choice.
2008 Presidential Rat Race--Starting Positions

Hat tip: Tito

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