Romney: Give Tax Breaks for Home Schooling
Jon Perr printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Dec 04, 2007 at 04:54:02 PM EST
We are pleased to welcome Jon Perr as a guest front pager. Jon is a technology marketing consultant based in Portland, Oregon. He has long been active in national Democratic politics and public policy as an organizer and advisor in California and Massachusetts. Jon blogs at Perrspectives, from which this is cross posted. -- FC

In South Carolina last month, White House hopeful Mitt Romney upped the ante in the Republican war against public education.  No doubt playing to the Palmetto State's crucial evangelical primary voters, Romney announced he favored tax breaks for parents who home school their children.  For Romney, American parents should not only be encouraged to abandon the public schools; they should be rewarded for it.

At a gathering of 100 supporters at a children's museum, Romney signaled his willingness to undermine public education through the expansion of charter schools and voucher programs.  The man who aspires to be the nation's second MBA president then offered to extend the taxpayer give-aways Republicans market as "school choice" to parents who opt to teach their children at home:

"I also believe parents who are teaching their kids at home, homeschoolers, deserve a break, and I've asked for a tax credit to help parents in their homes with the cost of being an at-home teacher."

Those costs would be non-trivial for American taxpayers.  The National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education estimated that there were 1.1 million home-schooled children (or 1.7% of the school age population) in 2003, a dramatic jump from the 850,000 its surveys reported just four years earlier.  The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), a Christian home schooling advocacy group, put the number as high as 2,100,000, with annual growths ranging from 7% to 15%.  Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), another non-profit organization, backing home-schooling, put a price tag on the effort:

"Families engaged in home-based education are not dependent on public, tax-funded resources for their children's education. The finances associated with their homeschooling likely represent over $16 billion that taxpayers do not have to spend since these children are not in public schools."

Apparently, that would change under President Mitt Romney.

Far more important, of course, than the cost of tax credits to home schooling parents is the start of an irreversible journey down the path of undermining American public education.  "School choice" is a slippery slope that joins free-market conservatives (who worship at altar of competition and the market model) with social conservatives eager for public underwriting of parochial and private schools.  That unholy alliance speaks in market metaphors, as parents-as-consumers purchase educational performance as a product for their children. (Unsurprisingly, the NCES survey showed that the public school "environment" and the desire to provide religious or moral instruction were the two primary parental motivations for home school their kids.)  That there are other non-market considerations in educating our children, such as creating community, bridging races and classes, or inculcating American values, is irrelevant to the GOP and its amen corner: test scores are the only good in the market for education.  (As it turns out, a 2006 study released without fanfare by the Bush Education Department showed public school students performed as well or better than their private school counterparts.)

Romney's home schooling proposal last week is filled with historical ironies as well.  A turning point in the evolution of evangelical political power and the rise of the voucher and home school movement came in the 1970's, as the IRS sought to end the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University and other segregated institutions.  Fast forward to October 2007, when Mitt Romney received the endorsement of Robert Taylor, dean of Bob Jones University.  Despite the 2000 assertion by Bob Jones III that Catholicism and Mormonism are "cults which call themselves Christian," Taylor proclaimed:

"The fact that I'm seen as a Religious Right person would hopefully get others to step out for him."

Giving them taxpayers' dollars to keep their children out of public schools couldn't hurt, either.




Display:
No science or math to speak of. Distorted history. Complete lack of understanding of causation vs correlation. Magical thinking. Welcome to the Walmart age, homeschoolers! That's your new employer.

(In fairness, about a quarter to a third of homeschoolers are not the Christianist reality-avoiders. Some homeschooled children are indeed very well educated, but the individuals I know who were homeschooled or homeschool now are from professional families with college or graduate-degreed wives doing the schooling. That's another topic entirely.)

by NancyP on Tue Dec 04, 2007 at 07:14:11 PM EST



WWW Talk To Action


Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Thus It Was Prophesied in 2012: Ted Cruz Will Be VP, Or a Supreme Court Justice
This is a transcript, of pastor Larry Huch and Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, from an appearance Rafael Cruz made at......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Crusin with Cruz
Ted Cruz threw his hat into the ring, announcing his bid for President in the worship center at Jerry Falwell's University last night.  Mother......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Ted Cruz: Born From The Heart of the Dominionist Christian Right
[welcome, Thom Hartmann Show fans, here is a short introduction to my past coverage on Ted Cruz and the dominionist Christian right] Did you......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Coming Soon to Utah: An International Festival of Bigotry
An international network of some of the world's most vitriolic Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed orthodox religious leaders is holding its ninth global conference......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Bumpy Lane: Religious Right Operative Seeks To Build (Another) Church-Based Political Machine
Here's what the country doesn't need right now: another zealot aiming to mobilize right-wing pastors to become a force in electoral politics.Yet that's what......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Team Jeb Bush's Liaison to Religious Right Is Hardcore Culture Warrior
In 2008, Senator John McCain's campaign recognized that he needed to shore up his credentials with the Religious Right, which was skeptical about his......
By Bill Berkowitz (2 comments)
American ISIS: Christian Reconstructionists And `Biblical Law' In America
Every now and then, while scanning the day's news, I come across a headline that's hard to believe.Like this one: "California lawyer proposes ballot......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Will our Prisons Overflow with Christians this Summer?
Many leaders of the Christian Right, from megachurch pastors like Rick Warren to the top prelates in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Say You Want A Christian Nation?: Let's Try This One
Last week an article began circulating on social media claiming that 57 percent of Republicans in a recent poll said they believe Christianity should......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Are The Fundamentalists Winning?
We missed Evolution Weekend, which was held February 13-15 this year.   This worthwhile effort, which began the same year as Talk to Action,......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Mario Cuomo's Memorable Lesson on Challenging the Political Authority of the Church
It is never too late to remember. Here is a reposting of a column I did following the death of former New York Gov.......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
The Legacy of Francis Bellamy
"We assemble here that we, too, may exalt the free school that embodies the American principles of universal enlightenment and equality; the most characteristic......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
The Inquisitional Urge Gets the Better of Bill Donohue (Again)
Bill Donohue is at it again. The Catholic League president went apoplectic over President Obama’s seemingly innocuous comments at the February 5th National Prayer......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
John Dorhauer Recommended to Lead United Church of Christ
I am very pleased to report that John Dorhauer, who joined us early on at Talk to Action has been recommended by a national......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)

Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (9 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (1 comment)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.