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Can School Choice Fix Government Schools?

After a break of four years, school choice is once again a big topic in the Texas Legislature. On this week’s episode of the Liberty Cafe, we discuss whether school choice can fix what is wrong with public education.


This podcast was transcribed by a robot called Otter.ai. Please forgive any errors in the text, as robots still have allot to learn.

School choice is back on the agenda in the Texas legislature this session. That’s nothing new, of course, advocates have been fighting for school choice in the Texas legislature for at least the last 30 years. But there’s been a hiatus of light. It was big news back in 2017 2018. But in the 2018 general election, a lot of Republicans including Dan, Patrick kind of squeaked by over the finish line to get reelected. And they went stone cold dead, when it comes came to public education, choice choice for parents to give them the ability to put their kids in either public or private schools using taxpayer dollars. And, in fact, they went the other way, advocating for huge pay increases for teachers and more money for public education. But for some reason, they’re back on the school choice bandwagon. They haven’t moved away from their support for public schools, they’re getting more money than ever, but at least there’s talk about giving parents some opportunity to get their kids out of these godless, generally not very good public schools. That’s what we’re going to talk about today, on episode 113 of the Liberty cafe. Hi, this is Bill Peacock, and welcome to Liberty cafe, it’s always a blessing to have you joining me in on the Liberty cafe and listening to the show. It’s also a blessing to be part of the Texas scorecard network. They’re the sponsor of liberty Cafe, and I encourage you to go over to Texas scorecard.com, and find out all the great things that they’re doing to promote liberty and freedom and justice in the state of Texas. Alright, so let’s take a look at this. You know, there’s a there’s a problem with public schools. And well, actually, there’s a lot of problems with public schools. And this has been going on for a long time. So I kind of want to walk us through some of the problems with public schools. So we’ll understand the drive for school choice parental choice. And then think about whether school choice actually solves those problems are not. Right. So so first of all, the first big problem that’s easy to point out is that there’s a runaway spending problem when it comes to public education, not just in Texas, but across the United States. Interestingly, United States generally spends far more on public education than any other industrial first world country in the world, it’s pretty amazing how much more we spend here. It’s just like, there’s much more pro abortion sentiment in the United States than there is anywhere else you would think that a country with our background founded on Christian principles, and with a strong conservative component would not be in the situation, but we are. So let’s just take a look here at what it looks like here in Texas when it comes to taxes and spending for public education. So back in 2018 19, that’s school years, starting in the fall, and moving to the spring, total school district expenditures in Texas worth $63 billion. Today, well, not today. But in the current in the school year that ended just last May or June, Spinney was up to $72.6 billion that’s running up over $12,000. When you take all the costs and in place over $12,000 per child, nowhere else in the developed world world can you find those kinds of per student expenditures and the girl it just keeps growing? Right 63 billion to 72 billion. That’s a $9 billion just over the course of four school years. It just continues to grow. But of course, somebody’s got to pay for all that spending that somebody is you and me. And one of the main ways that we pay for public schools is through property taxes, school districts. Pay, spent a lot of money. Matter of fact, school districts constitute the largest single portion of almost anybody’s tax bill, I thought. So I used to live in Austin, and moved out near Dripping Springs but out in the county and I figured well, I’m not going to be in a city. So my tax bill ought to go down pretty much because I don’t have to pay city of Austin taxes. Well, it did go down but not nearly as much as I thought it would because the property taxes for Dripping Springs ISD are significantly higher than they were back in Austin. It doesn’t matter where you live. Public education is very expensive. But the school districts know it’s really expensive. And they know, taxpayers don’t like to pay for it. The Texas taxpayers have been revolted against property taxes, all the way back to the very beginnings of the property taxes back in the 1840s and 50s. And it’s just continued on from there. So the school districts have gotten pretty good about lying to their constituents. It’s not to school districts, cities like to lie to their voters and counties like to lie to their voters to but school districts seem to just have taken it to the to a new level. Let me just read you just a little bit about Fort Bend. ISD. That’s a school district right outside of Houston. Fort Bend ISD, as a school district southwest of Houston already said that, not satisfied with increasing its property tax revenue from existing properties. By the 2.5% limit without voter approval, the school board’s district of Trustee Board of Trustees asked voters to approve a tax increase of over 7%. This past year, they would have used the new revenue to increase the pay of starting teachers by $1,000 up to $60,000, and provided supplemental payments to all teachers and staff. Get this the district attempted to sell this tax hike with it sustaining the tax rate campaign. The campaign told voters that the 2023 tax rate will be the same as last year’s without mentioning that the district’s revenue will increase by $47.66 million dollars. And homeowners tax bills will go up 7%. However, taxpayers saw through the campaign and voted against increasing the rate. Now, I do have to say that. Okay, did they actually lie? Did the school board actually lie to the taxpayers because it’s true, the rate would not have gone up whatever the rate was before, it would have stayed the same. But the reason that was the case, because property values have gone up so much, that they could keep the rate the same and still bring in a lot more tax dollars. So they weren’t lying about the rate staying the same. But you have to see the deceit in something like this, where they are trying to convince the voters that, oh, don’t worry about it, no new, no new taxes, no tax increases, by trying to tell them that their rates weren’t going to go up. And this kind of stuff goes on all the time across the state of Texas, I’m so glad that the voters in Fort Bend County in the in the district voted against that sort of thing. And you got to also remember that Fort Bend County has kind of turned democratic over the last few years. And so you know, it’s it’s tending to go that way. So it’s not just conservatives that don’t like higher school taxes. Now, we go from the spending side of things and the taxing side to things to the grooming side of things, particularly the grooming of Texas Children. Now, that’s a rather new term grooming, and we use it obviously in the context of homosexuals or pedophiles, to be more precise, pedophiles, grooming, children, for there to be abused, right. And now, more recently, it’s been used for homosexual and, and a lot of other just liberal grooming, to groom children to ignore and turn against the values that their parents have been trying to teach them at home. So that’s what’s going on. But but this is, again, been going on for a long, long time and what the real grooming of children is that has been going on in in public schools, not just in Texas, but across the United States has been to turn them away from God. And this was the primary focus of Horace Mann, John Dewey, who were early advocates back in the 1870s, mid 1800s, of public education, they wanted to take kids out of their homes, get them away from their parents, and teach them to be model citizens. That model citizen generally would have nothing to do with Jesus Christ and Christianity. Let me just read this little excerpt from this guy, John cubberly cubberly No one did more than man to establish in the minds of the American people. The conception that education should be universal, non sectarian meaning non religious, and free, and that its aim should be social efficiency, civic virtue, virtue, and character, rather than mere learning or the advancement of sectarian ends. So there we have what man, and Dewey and others in the early public education establishment wanted to do. They wanted to promote this civic virtue and social efficiency turn children basically into robots, that did what the society wanted them to do, not what their parents were trying to get them to do by teaching them about Jesus Christ, about their need for salvation, their need to turn away from their sinfulness and turn to Christ as Lord and Savior. And then all the different characteristics and actions that come out of that the way God would have a slip to be holy, before his face. So public schools have been trying to groom children in this way, for a long time. It’s just that they’ve been so successful about it. I mean, you know, that, even if they haven’t been pushing a radical left wing agenda for decades, 100, more than 100 years, they’ve been telling kids that there’s no need to learn about God, to learn about mathematics, or to learn about natural sciences, or English or anything else. What Why do you need to learn about God, he’s just the creator of heaven and earth, and created us along with it. But but that’s the opposite view. So kids have been growing up for all these years, thinking, Well, you know, we don’t really need to know about this and that and the other. And then we wonder why our religious ability to provide religious education is continuing to fall away, people not knowing the importance of Christ in all areas of life. So that’s been so successful now that we’ve they’ve really ramped it up to the next level. And we’ve seen what that looks like, right? We’ve, we’ve got the homosexual agenda being promoted. We have this extra peripheral article, parents in the north Texas City of Keller spoke at their local school board meeting Monday to demand more transparency from officials about six sexually explicit books found in their kids campus libraries. There are a lot of parents out there that don’t know what’s going on. When local father said, these books are not meant for kids. I don’t have to tell you probably the kind of content that is in these kinds of things, I mean, graphic pictures of or drawings of people having sex, homosexual sex, heterosexual sex. It’s in graphic descriptions of these these things, and just pushing the homosexual agenda, the heterosexual agenda of sex outside of marriage, all these kinds of things are going on. In the public schools today. We’ve also seen and heard about critical race theory going on in public schools. And you know, Texas, educators, a lot of Texas educators, anyway, have responded to that by saying they’re concerned that they won’t be able to have have open conversations about what’s happening in the world, if the Texas Legislature and others concerned about this, you know, pass legislation that restricts how teachers can discuss current events in the classroom. Right. They want to inculcate your children with Marxist ideas about race, and economics and government and society. And they’re really concerned that the legislature might stop them from being able to do that, so that you instead of they will be the primary influence on your children. Right. But of course, it’s not just what they’re teaching in public schools are not teaching in public schools. There the safety of children actually has gone become really threatened in many ways. Right. We just heard recently about prosper Independent School Board. School board member, Drew Wellborn. Having been arrested and charged with indecency with a child by sexual contact right now. Don’t know who that child is, apparently wasn’t in the school district. But but at the same time, the Prosper ISD had has also been embroiled in this in a sex abuse scandal where there were problems where their daughters had endured months of molestation by Prosper ISD but bus driver and the superintendent there and the school board have just tried to cover it up and stop parents from being able to know about things or complain about things or to make drive any changes in the school district, right. And Wellborn was one of those folks who was doing that. So, but you don’t have to be a real child sexual predator. Like he may be a court if he’s found guilty of those charges, in order to cover up and promote practices that allow those kinds of things to go on in public schools. And of course, this kind of thing is not just here in Texas, we almost all of us have heard about what went on in Luton County, in Virginia that kind of propelled the current governor of Virginia, whose name just escapes me right now to be the new governor of Virginia where a girl was two girls were actually molested by a young man who dressed up as a woman, and then was able to go into girls bathrooms and molest women in that way. Right. So this is a real problem. It’s not just what our students are learning, which is a big enough problem. But even the safety of our children are being compromised. So that puts us back into the conversation of thinking about school choice, right. And of course, school choice, there’s multiple ways you can do it. But basically, the main idea is giving parents money, not their money, but money from somebody else, the government, or some other entity, and you’re allowing them to use that money to take their kids out of public school, and put them in a private school somewhere else. And that that program has been going on. In the United States, it’s really been, you know, over the last 40 years or so, that’s kind of come to place, the most famous one out there is Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And I believe that’s still going on. And it’s happening out in Arizona, and a few other places. Louisiana tried to do some stuff, I think that might have been thrown out by the courts, but but the idea is, is that get your parents out of these these kids out of out of the public schools, because they’re failing them in some form or fashion. It not surprisingly, blacks seem to be the most excited about doing this. So I saw a recent poll by just for the kids, and they had about 53% of whites liked the idea of school choice vouchers, some kind of voucher system, but the numbers were up in the 60s for the black community. And again, that’s not a surprising thing, because blacks tend to be stuck in inner cities. Not Not always, but tend to be. And in the worst schools, the why that is the case, we could have a long conversation about it. So the idea is get these kids out of these public schools and let them their parents decide where they can go. And it’s not just for their safety, although that’s often part of it, particularly with inner city schools and violence and those kinds of things. But to get them out of this inculcation is grooming, where the schools are trying to teach them, to ignore God, and to listen to Marx instead, right? So, again, Dan Patrick is now gung ho for public school choice after several years of just pushing aside out of fear for his political re elections. That’s what it seems like to me anyway. And so the basic plan is to take some kind of tech money from the state of Texas, and give it to a limited amount of students. So this limited amount of students can use that to get out of schools. You know, they they’ve talked about exempting rural Texas from this plan. So real Texas, couldn’t get in there. There’s all kinds of ways to limit because the public school lobby goes crazy over this. And a lot of Republicans who have, who have in their districts have particularly suburban districts, they go crazy over this too, because their school districts are going crazy over it. And they don’t want to put up with the heat. So they’re putting some kind of limited plan in place. We don’t know what it’s going to look like yet. But the question is, does this really solve the problem? And I’d say no, the problem with public schools is that today, you can’t talk about God. You can’t teach your children about God and public schools. And so it’s creating a godless society, and we walk around us and we feel that this isn’t going to fix this problem. Particularly if you allow just a few kids to get out or they’re in ghosts on to a private school somewhere else. But I will say that if we are going to do something like this, we shouldn’t have it being a voucher system. because what a voucher system does, they’re going to spend more money on education. It’s not like they’re, we’re going to save a lot of money on this, they’re going to take money out of some other part of the budget and put more of it into education. But that extra part is going to go just into this voucher program over here, the better way to do it, I would suggest is to have a system of tax credits, where people can take money. And instead of paying either their property taxes, and that would be both people who own property and corporations that own property, or corporations who pay franchise taxes, they can take money out of the public education system, and give scholarships to other people, either. If you have, if you pay enough property taxes yourself, you can take your own money, but most people can’t do that. So you could go to some other business, who’s setting up the scholarship programs and use their tax credits, or tax credits that they get to pay for your own public education. Now, the benefit of that is that instead of expanding public money that’s going into public education, it’s actually reducing the money going into public education, it actually shrinks the public education system, it’s not perfect, because we still have so many sides, besides parents paying for their schools. And but at least it’s it’s a charitable type of thing. It’s still government still involved. But it’s a charitable type of thing where people can go get funds from private businesses to do this. As long, you know, and businesses aren’t going to be perfect about this and the way they operate. But I guarantee you, allowing parents to get money from businesses, and all kinds of businesses could pop up, it’s not just going to be the big multibillion dollar companies that you know, already are trying to take the the cancel culture, into our personal lives. All kinds of good businesses out there run by good people, I think could take advantage of this, and could set up all kinds of scholarship funds that a lot of kids could get out of public education, and go into Christian schools, and learn about God and move forward in both bringing Christianity back into the culture through the education system funded by these credits, and also reducing the size of the public education. The godless public education that is system is currently trying to groom our children and take them away from her parents. Well, thank you very much for being with me. On this week’s Liberty cafe. It’s been a blessing to be here with you and please go over to Texas scorecard.com and see what you can do to join the fight for liberty. Thank you for listening to the Liberty cafe with Bill peacock. This show is produced by Texas scorecard. You can learn more about the show and find other shows at Texas scorecard.com. Be sure you subscribe and rate the show on whatever platform you listen I’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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