Christian Schools Want Ohio Tax Dollars

Here they go again!  More meddling of Church and State.  Ohio is the newest target.  Why has Ohio become the virtual dart board of the right-wing ideologues? Hell, we’ve got enough problems with our right-wing governor and GOP controlled House and Senate.  Now this.

Fundamentalist Christians nationwide as well as in Ohio have been on the march to shut down the public school system for many years. They got quite a foothold back in the 90’s when they devised a plan to place fundamentalist Christians on school boards to control the agenda and to skew it towards ‘Christian values.’ A suburban school district just outside of Toledo was subjected to such a covert move in the 90’s when a school board member was ousted after attempting to manipulate the health curriculum of the district to reflect Christian values.

One of the leading proponents of tax dollars for Christian schools [aka voucher program] is Ohio Representative Barbara R.  Sears, Monclova Ohio. Interestingly, she lives in that very same school district and is a friend of the ousted Board member. Both are fundamentalist Christians.

Ohio House Bill 136, pushed by Rep. Sears,  seeks public education funds for charter schools, but this time with a twist. Currently, a charter school in Ohio may only function in public school districts that have fallen in test scores to ‘academic watch’ or ‘academic emergency’ levels. House Bill 136 expands school vouchers to all school districts, regardless of academic performance, and eventually would give funding to students already in private schools. How’s that for church-state interference? Not only that, but the bill allows families making up to $96k eligible to receive vouchers. So much for being ‘concerned’ for poor inner city children who are ‘forced’ to attend failing public schools.

It smells of right-wing Republican shyterism- the kind that we have seen all across the country of late. Public money for private schools!  For ‘good’ Christian schools. Wow! Does it get any worse?

The Toledo Blade said of this story:  “State data on the academic performance of voucher students are limited; unlike with public schools, private schools are not rated on annual state report cards. The only data the state provides are how voucher students across entire districts performed. According to that data, voucher students in Toledo performed below the public school averages…”  In other words, these for-profit charter schools are not held to the same academic standards as the public schools.  Looks like a win-win for them.

Not surprisingly the Blade points out that Catholic schools welcome such free-flowing money.  “The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports the bill, said Christopher Knight, superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Toledo. “We support school choice. The legislation reaches out to lower-income and middle-class families. It’s about choice and access,” he said.

Lower and middle?  Since when is ninety-five thousand dollars lower and middle-class families? The 2010 median income for families in the U.S. is $49,445. How’s that for realistic data?

Why is it that today’s brand of the Republican Party is hell-bent on interfering with and closing down public school system in America? Wasn’t the Department of Education one of the three [or two] branches of government that Rick Perry would shut down as soon as he was inaugurated? Do they think that the children of America ought not be educated? Or is it just their blanket anti-government ideology? Perhaps it is teachers’ unions; we all know how they hate unions. The unions often endorse Democratic candidates.  Is that the real reason?

Can you imagine this scenario? Republicans would  shut down public education in the United States because of their political agenda. The word pathetic doesn’t do justice to this perverse, self-serving agenda.

Shysters, plain and simple- with a good dose of religion.  But then,  there always has been a full array of charlatans operating in the religious arena. Barbara Sears is just one more of those GOP tricksters,  pretending to be such a good patriot, such a great American. And did I mention that she’s a ‘good’ Christian?

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28 thoughts on “Christian Schools Want Ohio Tax Dollars

  1. “Hell, we’ve got enough problems with our right-wing governor and GOP controlled House and Senate.”
    And another problem you have, which you continuously refuse to respond
    to, is Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. What would you call a Representative
    who votes against many of the structural issues that you support, like fair
    taxes, the minimum wage, removing tax withholding to construction contractors,
    supporting the funding of the Wars, enabling income inequality, hitting
    the military-industrial complex for money, voting NO on removing U.S. armed forces from Afghanistan, and to the thrust of your post, Kaptur voted YES
    to give grants to faith-based institutions for economic and employment
    opportuntities. Faith-based institution support. Do you have no line?
    Looks like a lot of 1% votes, my friend. Rightist? Given federal money
    to faith based institutions – you support that, right?

  2. “tax dollars for Christian schools”

    Why not? Is Social Security based on a religious test?

    Is Medicare based on a religious test?

    Is Medicaid based oln a regious test?

    Is the hospital you go to paid on a religious test?

    Then, why should education? Why should any child be denied approved
    and certified education just because of religion? I have been treated at
    St. Vincents and Toledo Hospitals with no question whatsoever about my
    religion. Why? my federal tax dollars were going to help pay the bill at
    both hospitals. The federales didn’t say , “OOps sorry, we are not sending
    your legally owed federal money to a Catholic hospital.” Right? So why
    should there be a difference on what institution receives money for the
    education of U.S. citizen children?

    1. (Raising my hand and waving wildly, ” I know the answer to this one!!!!!”)
      There are a couple of significant differences.
      The hospital you went to didn’t require you to attend or offer a class on religion, nor did they alter the standard or kind of care you received based on religion. Religious schools do that; they differ from public schools in their curriculum and requirements, and unlike hospitals they are differently accountable.
      The two, religiously operated hospitals and religiously operated schools, are not the same. This is a false analogy; the differences are significant, and do involve the subsidizing of religious education in the latter in ways which are not subsidizing religion in the former.
      I particularly have an objection to ANY funding which favors stupidity like teaching creationism is legitimate and teaching evolution is not well established ‘decided’ science. That is teaching religion masquerading as science and giving those children a truly crappy education.

      You know – the kind that has caused this country to slide WAY down the list in comparison to the education in other countries, particularly in the sciences. We already cater far too much to the religious nut jobs on the right. Get our money OUT of private education, particularly religious education, and to the extent they are allowed to operate – as they should be allowed – require them if they are accredited as schools to function as schools not as the Christian equivalent of ‘madrassas’.

      Any school that has students who cannot pass basic testing for their grade levels should be closed. That would no doubt in the short term overburden those schools that do well, but ultimately it will make it necessary for all schools to be competitive and to meet minimum standards. It will one can only hope, also get those students who desperately need remedial education the help they require.

      And we should damn well be punishing those schools who pass pretty much ANY student regardless of their failure on the basis of not hurting the student’s self-esteem. We also should be holding parents more accountable for their children’s performance, the way we hold them accountable for truancy.

    2. It’s hard to imagine that my friend, with his lengthy set of degrees in History, would ask: “tax dollars for Christian schools” Why not?

      Let’s go back, way back in U.S. history to 1785: The Land Ordinance of 1785. [ding!] You can read more in my reply below just in case you forgot your section on ‘setting up future states.’

  3. So Up, did they try to indoctrinate you while you were there? And are those hospitals run with the same financial freedom the private schools have? I think “not” is the answer to both questions.

    There’s member of the posse who has been particularly mean to me lately but he’s the perfect example of why this idea is worse than anything Hitler ever came up with.

    Until recently this guy home schooled his kids. Now his oldest is enrolled in public school 2nd grade because the mother has to work to help support the family. A voucher system is not going to get a child into a private school on this guy’s family income. So now he has to make a choice between his wife quiting her job and praying the state won’t take his kids or send his children to public schools that wil lack so much money even basic education won’t be taught.

    And for Christ’s sake, haven’t we learned from centuries of history that privately controlled schools are as bad as a censured information delivery system?

    (P.S. Non-Catholic students at Catholic schools are not required to attend mass or any other religious function. Remember, I was taught evolution by a nun in the Catholic School system and not that is was a myth, but a possible fact. I bet the Toledo Christian Schools on The Trail doesn’t teach that. Please don’t confuse Catholic Schools with the fundamentalist brain washing institutes.)

    1. There’s member of the posse who has been particularly mean to me lately but he’s the perfect example of why this idea is worse than anything Hitler ever came up with.

      NON- I think sometimes your passion overshadows your rational thinking. This statement is why I asked you about your thoughts on Jews. When I read it, I saw the passion you have for the subject. But read it carefully, because it kind of sounds like this, “Religious, private schools receiving tax money is worse than Hitler trying to take over Europe, and killing millions of Jews.” See what I mean? Stay passionate brother, but try not to lose the rational thought.

      1. JOB wrote in response to NON: “NON- I think sometimes your passion overshadows your rational thinking. ”

        All I can say is, AMEN!

      2. I was trying to come up with the worst thing I could think of. And in my lifetime, that would be Hitler. And think about it, what kind of prejudices do you think would prevail if schools were run by fundamentalists for those lucky enough to get an education. I think there is a remote possibility that Hitler got as far as he did because people on the outside just could not believe how bad it was on the inside; and those on the inside were told through a controlled press how the Jewish “problem” must be dealt with. In fact, didn’t the rest on the world only learn the severity of the atrocities only after the war? But staying on a honesty course, I really have try hard to see the difference between then and how the European Jews are behaving now in Israel now.

        On a more personal level, I have read the blog of a commenter here saying things like “all Muslims are bad and must be killed” and “I’ll take either converts or corpses”. You don’t think it will come to this if education goes private? When I have more time, I’ll post the economic related to this issue.

  4. I’m against using any public funds to participate in the activities of faith based initiatives or whatever else they want to call it to hide what it is – public money to fund mostly religious right wing activities.

    I don’t think ANY school should get a dime if they don’t conform to the same transparency and public standards – including curricula -that public schools do.

    1. Doggone2 wrote above: “I’m against using any public funds to participate in the activities of faith based initiatives or whatever else they want to call it to hide what it is – public money to fund mostly religious right wing activities.”
      So, Doggone2, if your House of Representatives Member voted to do just
      that, would you support that candidate?

  5. Mud- Pretty good post. The reason Christian schools should not receive any tax money is simple. They pay no taxes.

      1. TGP- What’s up? You come around here too?
        I was talking about churches’ tax exempt status. My daughter’s Catholic school doesn’t even pay sales taxes on new computers. Is the same true for public schools?

      2. Public schools pay no taxes either.

        What does the word, ‘public,’ mean, Tenth? By the way, churches pay no taxes either. How’s that for a comparison?

        Further, in my neck of the woods, Chrysler Corp. got a sweetheart deal on its Jeep plant here and it pays minuscule taxes to the state and local coffers and even less to the Toledo Public Schools.

        1. And the City even condemned private homes in the area to provide more area and access to the new plant. The City used eminent domain to claim
          that land for a private corporation, not for public use.

          Well, down here in the conservative Bible Belt, the State of MS just passed
          a Constitutional Amendment expressly preventing this abuse of the eminent
          domain law. And, of course, in the same election, the voters defeated
          the “personhood” amendment as well. Why are the voters of MS turning
          aside the Baptist Church and the GOP power structure and vote against
          the power structure’s recommendations?

    1. Mud- Pretty good post.

      It’s nice to get a compliment from time to time. Thanks.

      The reason Christian schools should not receive any tax money is simple. They pay no taxes.

      Well, the actual reason is that state and local laws designate public schools as the legal recipient of school tax levies.

      In Ohio and all states to the west of Ohio to the Mississippi, this obligation to fund public schools goes back to the Land Ordinance of 1785, precursor to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. This ordinance was the blueprint for the formation of states beyond the original 13.

      The ordinance establishes a mechanism for funding public education:

      Section 16 in each township was reserved for the maintenance of public schools. Many schools today are still located in section sixteen of their respective townships, although a great many of the school sections were sold to raise money for public education. In later States, section 36 of each township was also designated as a “school section.”

      Thus, either section 16 or 36 was set aside for public education here in Ohio and the other states of the ‘Northwest.’

      Public, not parochial.

      1. Correct! Good points!
        It is amazing to me how much of our history and fundamental principles like public education the far right extremists want to undo or overthrow — all while claiming they are for freedoms, and honoring the founding fathers. They don’t in fact honor those principles of the founding fathers at all. What they want to do is to get rid of public education so they can substitute their crazy propaganda for real education, and to privatize education so that some of their cronies can make money off of it.

        Neither goal is desirable; both HARM the public good and the country. It is insane that we even consider them as having a legitimate point.

      2. Somebody got an “A” in Ohio History. I still marvel at how great an idea that was and people way back then realized how important education is.

  6. OOps that should have read at the end ‘ a legitimate point of view’. Everyone is entitled to believe what they choose. That doesn’t make every point of view equally valid or legitimate. Some are stupid.

  7. Hello All,
    I can speak of the religious elementary to high schools in the Mid-Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware.

    Seaford, De:
    Seaford Christian School which is a Baptist based religious school and the current national education testing from the last five years, this school has finally lost its accreditation from the State of Delaware. Once investigated, what came out were that the majority of the teachers in this school had no degree in education or even were proficient in the subject they were teaching. All of their students that have attended this Baptist religious school from K thru 12 have failed in reading and math……but boy can they quote the Bible verses.

    Cambridge, Md:
    Cambridge Christian Academy is also a Baptist religious school from K thru 5 which touts they teach the value of “Complete Understanding of God’s Secret Plan.” Well God’s Secret Plan must not include comprehensive reading because after the 5th grade and these student transfer in into the Public Schools, CAN NOT READ!!! After 6 years of attending this religious elementary school, these students are less than functional illiterates. It is well noted and mentioned that these same students are also socially inverted and most cannot not interact in society once removed from the Über Religious atmosphere.

    Cambridge, Md:
    The Countryside Christian School is another Baptist based religious school and prides itself as being in competition with the Cambridge Christian Academy with the boasting pride that the other Baptist Church is not teaching the Bible correctly. Apparently this Baptist Church is the only true pathway to heaven. This being said their students also fail to show proficiency in reading, math, sciences, etc……but I guess you are personally guaranteed you are getting into heaven.

    Now some may think I am personally targeting the Baptist religion but as this area is Southern, we have many different types of Baptist Churches and are by far the most prolific.

    Denton Md:
    The Wesleyan Christian School is located in Denton Maryland and once again I know many who have gone from K thru 8th grade. These students are so far behind in being able to show proficiency at their grade level and end up in the remedial level education classes when having to transfer into public schools. Many of the children starting their education at this Christian religious school never really catch up to their peers who have started in public schools.

    Easton Md:
    St. Peter and Paul Catholic School goes from K thru 12 and does have a good record with regards to education level and ability to have their students go onto college. This school has such a good repetition as far as religious private schools; many people of different religions will send their children to this school.

    Now it is of my opinion of this recent political attacks on public schools and the teachers unions, the only outcome will be an under educated next generation having to compete in the world economy. In essence we will religious promote ourselves as a country to the level of the Taliban controlled regions of Afghanistan. “Can’t read or write, week math skills, and totally ignorant of science facts but will sit and recite religious verses and religious fairy tale stories.”

    1. Wow, I totally agree. Now, I want the same kind of public interest in defeating issue 2 to be used to stop this voucher crap. Ever hear of a teachers’ union in a private school? There’s a reason.

      I had mixed feelings about issue 2, but one of the cons was they way they wanted to handle teachers. I vote for school issues to have the public tax on my property used for public education, not private. I elect school board members to run my public school, not watch people I have no control over spend my tax money in private schools. And most charter schools are just as bad.

      1. Jeff,

        Surprising me once again, I actually agree with you on this issue. Vouchers aren’t a good way to level the education field. But I do think a parent should be allowed to enroll their child in any public school they want to, regardless of where they live. But the parent should have to provide the students transportation, not the school system, if they elect to send the child to a different district.

  8. Hey Northwest. You bring up a good point with Charter Schools too. We have three Charter Schools here locally that are economically bankrupt and producing students that are not meeting the “No Child Left Behind” standards. Yea Go Figure?!?!? The public schools here are producing better students than these privite schools.

  9. Hello everyone- I would like to comment further on this topic. My statements are not based on collegiant studies, interviews, or statistics. My comments are based purely on being raised, and raising my daughter, in the Chicagoland area. It may be a little politically incorrect for some, but it is my experience and I do apologize in advance if I offend.

    1st- My comment last night was fairly LIV in nature. I will admit that. I honestly have no idea how the public school system works. I know that 78% of my property taxes goes towards funding the public school systems in my district. I also know that since the day my daughter was born, she would attend a Catholic school. I will inform you all later, the reasoning behind my daughter and Catholic school.

    2nd- P.S. Non-Catholic students at Catholic schools are not required to attend mass or any other religious function.
    This statement was left by a commenter, and is absolutely incorrect in Chicago. I was raised Lutheran. I attended Public school up until High School. My Freshman year, I attended a Christian school. Everyone there had to participate in the religious traditions, regardless of their religious upbringing. I transferred to a highly recruited Catholic school my Sophomore year. the move was solely based on college football recruitment. But, I still had to attend the weekly Mass, and participate in Catholic traditions, even though I was Protestant.

    So, as far as the actual education goes, Public schools and Private schools are pretty much the same. The biggest difference is actually in favor of Public schools.
    Private schools get away with not having to report certain behavioral problems. This is because they are a “private” agency. Since this is the case, there are certain programs they do not have to adhere too.

    Don’t let articles, or reports fool you. If Ohio Private schools are asking for tax dollars, it’s because enrollment is down. Plain and simple. The 96K figure has alot of meaning, if you can read between the lines. Quite simply, We are down on enrollment, and need your assistance in order to survive. But don’t send us any minorities,

    The fact is this. Most people don’t send their children to religious based schools because of a higher quality of education, or too learn about religion. That’s what church is for. People send their children to private schools, in order to separate them from- Blacks, Mexicans, White trash, poverty-stricken, homosexuality, and whatever else. And I don’t blame them.

    I pay $4100 a year for my daughter to attend Catholic school for one reason. I do not want to explain to my 7 year old what a metal detector is, and why it is in her school.

  10. JOB- I see your point and no parent should have angst about sending their child off to school in the morning. My wife and I dutifully sent our children to our local parish school like good Catholic parents Things went OK for a while until about the 5th grade when our daughter became the target of taunts from a small clique of girls- a clique from which she could not escape due to the small size of the school. WE moved her to a large neighborhood public school where those sort of groupings are more diluted. After that, she went to public junior high, the largest junior high school in Ohio with 1200 7th and 8th graders. She sought her own level and social group among the less academic groups which formed there as well.

    A year later, our son did the same and found his own group as well. The academics at this jr. high were far superior to the local parish school and both of our children were able to choose from a range of classes and activities not offered in the parochial school.

    There’s the choice, JOB. We chose to go public knowing that our tight-knit local parish might have been ‘safer,’ but for personal and academic growth, we chose the public school. Perhaps you will make that choice later on after your daughter’s early elementary years.

    It’s not an easy decision, believe me.

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