Crumbling Public Schools, Vouchers, and Trump Supporter Syndrome

Have you ever watched a fly repeatedly bash his head against a window in a futile attempt to do Lord-knows-what? And when you ask the fly what he’s doing he replies “you mean you don’t know? The window. Trump promised to open it.”

It’s not encouraging when I speak with Trump supporters who still believe that he will keep his promise to be the torchbearer for the working class. Right-wing politicians prey most effectively on the desperation of the poorest, least educated, and uninformed individuals in America because they are the least likely to be aware of the issues that affect them. Unfortunately they voted in droves for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the primaries instead of Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein. They are in part a consequence of over two centuries of the government’s pro “landowner policies” that allow schools in the poorest counties to be massively underfunded relative to wealthy school districts. This is a bipartisan injustice perpetrated by both Republicans and Democrats whose intent it is to maximize the power of the wealthy over the poor. The right of a child to get a quality education in a public school is now further threatened by proposals to implement a nationwide school voucher program advocated by both Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and rising star and corporate controlled Democrat Cory Booker. Yes, Cory Booker is a Democrat, a lifelong proponent of school vouchers, and is being groomed by the DNC and corporate propaganda media to run for President in 2020.


                                                        Disparity in funding by school district.

For those that don’t know, vouchers are a sum of money generally around $3,000 offered to all parents who can then use that money to send their child to a private school which averages around $15,000/year. A $3,000 voucher is useless to a family who can’t afford the additional $12,000. Worse yet, that voucher money is taken away from that state’s public school system’s resources. In many impoverished counties, schools are literally falling apart from a lack of state funding. Wisconsin has implemented one of this country’s most ambitious voucher programs where over $2 billion has been funneled away from public schools since 1990 to the benefit of private institutions. Understand also that many privately run schools are religious in nature. They are not required to adhere to the same federal laws surrounding the protection of freedom of speech. They can also disregard laws protecting students from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Federal non-interference laws concerning private institutions also allow private religious schools to circumvent laws requiring the separation of church and state. These schools are therefore allowed to condemn homosexuality and abortion, perpetuate creationism as a valid scientific explanation, and dilute a child’s innately rational longing to base their understanding on facts and evidence.


A 4th grade quiz from a private religious school. Not kidding.

Time and again we see the two major political parties colluding on legislation that continues to consolidate the wealth and power of the privileged at the expense of the poor. It’s the right of every child to have the highest quality education and therefore an equal opportunity in life. A nationwide voucher program will push the United States even further from that goal. It will serve only to solidify perpetual cross-generational poverty for the less educated and an enduring disconnect from political involvement. An informed electorate would have given Bernie Sanders a landslide populist win. There’s still hope. There is a growing belief that Trump will be the catalyst for an awakening in pop culture concerning issues like climate change, single payer health care, income inequality, and a corrupt two party system beholden to and controlled by Wall Street. We also see that the political landscape is moving in Bernie Sanders’ direction. Millennials are the most aware group in 60 years. They consistently poll as enthusiastic supporters of Bernie Sanders’ and the Green Party’s democratic socialist policies. It is them that will be leading the way against the .1% oligarchy perpetuated by a corrupt two party system and a corporate controlled media.


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