Here’s a cautionary tale for those private and parochial schools advocating at the legislature for vouchers: Sweden just passed a new education law stipulating that public schools must teach all their subjects in a “non-confessional” and “objective” (i.e. secular) manner. The law applies to all schools, including independent Christian and Muslim schools, because they, too, receive funding from the state.
Anyone who believes that tax dollars via vouchers wouldn’t come with strings attached is delusional. It’s called accountability, or more colloquially, “dancing with the guy what brung you.”
Think about it: what would some of our not-very-enlightened lawmakers say to families who wanted to use those vouchers to send their children to Muslim religious schools? Schools for Freethinkers? What would our more responsible legislators say about using them at schools that employed unqualified teachers, or taught “alternative” history, or that produced students unable to read? What about schools that didn’t meet minimum health or safety standards?
As a wise inner-city pastor once said about the Bush Administration’s Faith-Based Initiative, “With the government’s sheckels come the government’s shackles.”