American fundies divert taxes to their schools

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American fundies divert taxes to their schools

Postby Brian Jordan » Tue May 22, 2012 8:37 pm

(No need here, of course - they can apply to Gove directly.)
Public Money Finds Back Door to Private Schools
May 22, 2012 1:04 pm
By STEPHANIE SAUL / The New York Times

When the Georgia legislature passed a private school scholarship program in 2008, lawmakers promoted it as a way to give poor children the same education choices as the wealthy.

The program would be supported by donations to nonprofit scholarship groups, and Georgians who contributed would receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits, up to $2,500 a couple. The intent was that money otherwise due to the Georgia treasury -- about $50 million a year -- would be used instead to help needy students escape struggling public schools.

That was the idea, at least. But parents meeting at Gwinnett Christian Academy got a completely different story last year.

"A very small percentage of that money will be set aside for a needs-based scholarship fund," Wyatt Bozeman, an administrator at the school near Atlanta, said during an informational session. "The rest of the money will be channeled to the family that raised it."

A handout circulated at the meeting instructed families to donate, qualify for a tax credit and then apply for a scholarship for their own children, many of whom were already attending the school.

"If a student has friends, relatives or even corporations that pay Georgia income tax, all of those people can make a donation to that child's school," added an official with a scholarship group working with the school.

The exchange at Gwinnett Christian Academy, a recording of which was obtained by The New York Times, is just one example of how scholarship programs have been twisted to benefit private schools at the expense of the neediest children.

Spreading at a time of deep cutbacks in public schools, the programs are operating in eight states and represent one of the fastest-growing components of the school choice movement. This school year alone, the programs redirected nearly $350 million that would have gone into public budgets to pay for private school scholarships for 129,000 students, according to the Alliance for School Choice, an advocacy organization. Legislators in at least nine other states are considering the programs.

While the scholarship programs have helped many children whose parents would have to scrimp or work several jobs to send them to private schools, the money has also been used to attract star football players, expand the payrolls of the nonprofit scholarship groups and spread the theology of creationism, interviews and documents show. Even some private school parents and administrators have questioned whether the programs are a charade.

Most of the private schools are religious. Nearly a quarter of the participating schools in Georgia require families to make a profession of religious faith, according to their Web sites. Many of those schools adhere to a fundamentalist brand of Christianity. A commonly used sixth-grade science text retells the creation story contained in Genesis, omitting any other explanation. An economics book used in some high schools holds that the Antichrist -- a world ruler predicted in the New Testament -- will one day control what is bought and sold.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/education/public-money-finds-back-door-to-private-schools-637038/
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Re: American fundies divert taxes to their schools

Postby Roger Stanyard » Wed May 23, 2012 4:44 pm

Brian Jordan wrote:(No need here, of course - they can apply to Gove directly.)
Public Money Finds Back Door to Private Schools
May 22, 2012 1:04 pm
By STEPHANIE SAUL / The New York Times

When the Georgia legislature passed a private school scholarship program in 2008, lawmakers promoted it as a way to give poor children the same education choices as the wealthy.

The program would be supported by donations to nonprofit scholarship groups, and Georgians who contributed would receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits, up to $2,500 a couple. The intent was that money otherwise due to the Georgia treasury -- about $50 million a year -- would be used instead to help needy students escape struggling public schools.

That was the idea, at least. But parents meeting at Gwinnett Christian Academy got a completely different story last year.

"A very small percentage of that money will be set aside for a needs-based scholarship fund," Wyatt Bozeman, an administrator at the school near Atlanta, said during an informational session. "The rest of the money will be channeled to the family that raised it."

A handout circulated at the meeting instructed families to donate, qualify for a tax credit and then apply for a scholarship for their own children, many of whom were already attending the school.

"If a student has friends, relatives or even corporations that pay Georgia income tax, all of those people can make a donation to that child's school," added an official with a scholarship group working with the school.

The exchange at Gwinnett Christian Academy, a recording of which was obtained by The New York Times, is just one example of how scholarship programs have been twisted to benefit private schools at the expense of the neediest children.

Spreading at a time of deep cutbacks in public schools, the programs are operating in eight states and represent one of the fastest-growing components of the school choice movement. This school year alone, the programs redirected nearly $350 million that would have gone into public budgets to pay for private school scholarships for 129,000 students, according to the Alliance for School Choice, an advocacy organization. Legislators in at least nine other states are considering the programs.

While the scholarship programs have helped many children whose parents would have to scrimp or work several jobs to send them to private schools, the money has also been used to attract star football players, expand the payrolls of the nonprofit scholarship groups and spread the theology of creationism, interviews and documents show. Even some private school parents and administrators have questioned whether the programs are a charade.

Most of the private schools are religious. Nearly a quarter of the participating schools in Georgia require families to make a profession of religious faith, according to their Web sites. Many of those schools adhere to a fundamentalist brand of Christianity. A commonly used sixth-grade science text retells the creation story contained in Genesis, omitting any other explanation. An economics book used in some high schools holds that the Antichrist -- a world ruler predicted in the New Testament -- will one day control what is bought and sold.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/education/public-money-finds-back-door-to-private-schools-637038/


One wonders just how much help Sylvia Baker and the Christian Schools Trust has received from across the pond in setting up similar scams to promote fundamentalist and sectarian bigotry in the UK.
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Re: American fundies divert taxes to their schools

Postby cathy » Wed May 23, 2012 4:59 pm

One wonders just how much help Sylvia Baker and the Christian Schools Trust has received from across the pond in setting up similar scams to promote fundamentalist and sectarian bigotry in the UK.

Hmm, Sheffield looks to be trying again if Kens tweets are anything to go by, and on the CST homepage this has appeared under 'What We Do':
In the early days the emphasis was on staff training, curriculum development and developing friendships between heads, staff and pupils. These remain important to us but more recently we have also become involved in other issues such as seeking government recognition for our teacher training, establishing an inspectorate for faith schools, representing Christian educational views in the national media and researching the effects and effectiveness of our schools over the past 20 years.Our structures and activities are more complex than they were but we are still primarily concerned with supporting each other in providing a Godly education for children and young people.

Now seeking govt recognition for their teacher training is a worrying one! That I guess is their Highlight Christian teacher training course under the leadership of Sylvs pal David Freeman. Pushing the loony christian curriculum. I fervently hope that is never recognised as valid in any way shape or form.
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