The movement in our country to defund public education and shift tax money to private and/or religious schools is not going away. Five years ago, I read Paul Krugman’s book on this topic, and since then, I’ve “followed the money,” focusing on the “free market” agenda to dismantle ALL public programs that benefit individuals. I do remember reading about Richard DeVos (founder of Amway) and his connection to this movement, but I hadn’t thought much about the religious angle for a while.
One of the best overviews I’ve read on this topic is here. It’s the background you will need to understand if you decide to help educate others about the agenda to destroy public education.
If you think about the combination of BIG money and religious fervor joining forces, you can easily understand why the privatization of public education movement has been as successful as it has. My state, Missouri, gets star treatment in the ALEC list of states pushing vouchers, charter schools, etc. I also recommend reading ALEC Exposed’s discussion, called “Privatizing Public Education, Higher Ed Policy, and Teachers.”
This is happening not only in Missouri, but all over the country. Watch your state legislature introduce bills to provide vouchers (or “scholarships”) to students in “failing schools” so they can get “the excellent education they deserve.” Once you understand the hidden agenda, you will be able to decode those words yourself. In Missouri, there are several groups organizing to protect public schools, and I’m sure there is something similar in your state.
I am a product of a public high school and two public universities. I would like others to have the same chances that public education gave me. Think about it. The best way to change public opinion is one on one with those we see on a daily basis.
Susan Cunningham is a retired teacher of American history. She lives near St. Louis, Missouri.