Pro-voucher groups celebrate Supreme Court arguments

School voucher supporters are lauding Thursday’s state Supreme Court arguments over the state’s appeal of lower court rulings declaring the program violates the Tennessee Constitution’s home rule protections.

Here’s what Justin Owen, the CEO of the conservative Beacon Center think tank, had to say:

We are pleased with today’s arguments in the ESA case and are optimistic that the Supreme Court will rule that this much-needed program can move forward. The local governments of Shelby County and Metro Nashville have stalled this program for nearly two years by claiming that they will suffer financially if parents are allowed to send their children to schools that better meet their needs. Even today, their attorney claimed that these students would burden the government financially if they were given the option to use an ESA to improve their education. Yet at the same time, the local governments admitted today in court that education funding in these two school districts would remain ‘roughly the same’ even if this program takes effect.

It’s terribly disappointing that these local governments continue to outright blame families seeking a lifeline from their failure to provide a quality education to these children. We are confident the Supreme Court will do what is right and look forward to their decision.”

And here is Shaka Mitchell, the the director of the Tennessee chapter of the American Federation for Children:

“We are optimistic the Tennessee Supreme Court will reverse the decision by the lower court and allow students in Shelby and Davidson Counties to access the Education Savings Account program. Thousands of families trapped in failing or low-performing schools had already signed up to participate when the program was halted as a result of the lawsuit.

School choice programs work. They empower parents with resources to find schools that better fit their unique needs and they foster innovation. These programs make both private and public schools create new and better options for all students. At American Federation for Children, we remain focused on students, not systems, and we hope for a favorable outcome in this case.”

34 Responses to Pro-voucher groups celebrate Supreme Court arguments

  • Avatar
    David Collins says:

    It’s a hard lesson to learn, but you can’t always depend on comments a given justice makes or questions a judge may ask during arguments to predict how they intend to rule. Many times I think they may just be playing “the devils advocate” and that can have the result of one side or the other making even a stronger case for their side that could end up swaying that particular judge to their side. So, I wouldn’t go spiking the ball until I was sure I had crossed the goal line. In other words, wait for the opinion to come out.

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      Cryan says:

      Tennessee Constitution Article XI Section 9

      “any act of the General Assembly private or local in form or effect applicable to a particular county or municipality either in its governmental or its proprietary capacity shall be void and of no effect unless the act by its terms either requires the approval of a two-thirds vote of the local legislative body of the municipality or county, or requires approval in an election by a majority of those voting in said election in the municipality or county affected.”

      Pretty straightforward. Sounds like the justices were just trying to be kind to these homeschool nuts, and as you put it, play devil’s advocate. These statements are straight out of the mouths of babes.

      Let’s not forget, the majority Republican Hamilton and Knox counties voted themselves out of the voucher scam during the bribery period of the legislation’s history.

      This whole thing stinks.

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    For some:
    Samuel Blumenfeld says public education is an act of war:
    The plain unvarnished reality is that the public schools have become a criminal enterprise. Our educational leaders are engaged in a deliberate well planned conspiracy to dumb down the American people. Isn’t that a crime? Indeed back to 1983 the national commission on excellence in education reported “if an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exist today we might well have viewed as an act of war. As it stands we have allowed this to happen to ourselves.” Why aren’t our educational leaders being held responsible for this act of war against our people? Should not the deliberate dumbing down of an entire nation be considered a crime of gigantic proportions? What about the deliberate use of teaching message that crippled the brains of our children, is that not also a crime? Medical malpractice is a punishable offense but educational malpractice is not and the educators manage to extort more and more money from a gullible public to keep doing what they were doing for decades. Is not extortion a crime? That’s is what they do, they extort money from us. Educators have also become drug pushers. Educators are forcing millions of children to take mind-altering drugs so that they won’t be able to resist the harm being done to them in the classroom. Is turning a normal child into a drug addict not a crime? What about exposing children to virtual pornographic sex education in which they are taught that perversion is perfectly normal? Is that not a kind of child molestation that should be labeled a crime? Sex education has become a battering ram against a child’s religious morality, as a result millions of children are condemned to lives as functional illiterate, mentally stunted, spiritually empty and morally vulnerable.
    =========================

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Great response James, thanks for taking the time to type it.

      • Avatar
        Cryan says:

        Have you read Article XI Section 9 of the Tennessee State Constitution?

        James, should we have a constitutional convention so that we can make vouchers legal in only 2% of counties in the state.

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        He copied and pasted 99% of that……take the time to type/??????????

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          As per MARLE’S micro-correction I revise it to read,

          “Great response James, thanks for taking the time to copy and paste it.”

          Thanks MARLE.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Seeing a LONG comment written much better than anything he’s ever written and it’s MICRO analyzing to recognize this as copied and pasted. Clearly you have no clue what analyzing is let alone Micro analyzing.

            How bout we stop with the labels and just respond to the FACTS

          • Avatar
            James White says:

            Thanks, actually I did have to type it from a video Sam made years ago.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Aha, so though I know little about computers and I’m afraid I care even less my instinct about “typing” was right after all. Thanks James for taking the time to let us know.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            My apologies, James. You could have copied and pasted it from his book excepts “Crimes of the Educators” which he apparently strung together in a speech.

            I would bother to copy and paste it so you could see it takes about 1 minute to do that but it takes up too much space to re-state what you apparently bothered to type in.

          • Avatar
            James White says:

            And crimes they are.
            Good to see you are familiar with Sam’s books. I do have 3 or 4 and they are Excellent, don’t you think?

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            If anyone needs an ally in breaking the stranglehold public education has on tax dollars and the lack of ROI we have been getting for our investment (aren’t they always calling it that?) then count me in. I do find his analysis a bit hyperbolic but I guess that’s what sells books.

    • Avatar
      steve cates says:

      What is “dumbing down” is the taking of tax money to support private schools! The sad thing is that the “carrot” is that “ordinary kids” will be able to use this money to attend the “best” of private schools. This of course is not the truth!!

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        Tax money should be taken to EDUCATE children wherever that can occur to a state agreed to standard; not taken prop up a monopolistic, zip-code driven education bureaucracy.

        • Avatar
          Cryan says:

          The agreed to standard has already been defined. Montgomery Bell and Girls’ Prep aren’t behind these bills. Vouchers won’t cover tuition at USJ or Baylor. The nuts quoted above are working on behalf of Snake Handling academies, Q-Anon Homeschoolers, and lazy people on SSI disability that don’t want to wake up in time to get their kids to the bus.

          You’re advocating our tax dollars be used for what I think amounts to child abuse. Can you imagine having gone to one of these $750 Independent Baptist schools growing up? You’d have the social skills of Eddie White and the intelligence and critical reasoning of Stuart Anderson.

          I’m all for vouchers if they cover the $40,000 tuition at a good private school. These Republican Sales Taxes are already so damn high we should be able to afford it.

          #StopSubsidizingStupid #BeatBillLee

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            You don’t need to choose the most expensive school to make it better than the bottom of the barrel public schools for which Taxpayer dollars intended for children to receive an education in keeping with agreed to standards.

            The general public needs to see Via Technology what is actually going on in TN k-12 schools in the same way they can view, in real time, what is going on in their state legislature.

            We spend infinitely more on k-12 teacher salary than on state legislators’ salaries and yet I have no idea how they are doing their job. Why the need to hide?

          • Avatar
            Cryan says:

            Education is the gold mine for government contracts. You don’t think Bill Lee (Lee Company) and Glen Casada (Phoenix Solutions) know that? They don’t give a damn about kids.

  • Avatar
    Beatrice Shaw says:

    Kill this law!! Disenfranchises children and takes VALUABLE dollars away from an already grossly underfunded public education system. Don’t like outcomes of public schools?? Try FULLY funding them and teachers salaries for a change!!

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      “Disenfranchises children”? Good heavens, I had no idea you leftist have found a way for children to vote. As for underfunding, I believe the most richly funded schools are in places like Newark, New Jersey and the results in that district as well as in some of our most richly funded school districts are dismal. You’re trying to make a monopolistic system efficient Beatrice and I’m afraid you can’t do it.

    • Avatar
      M. Burkett says:

      Our public schools have suffered since President Bush forced “No Child Left Behind,” which in turn has forced public school systems across the country to pour millions of dollars every year into purchasing mandated tests. School administrators should be overseeing and evaluating their staff, not a series of stupid standardized tests. Let’s bring the joy of learning back into our schools, and let those who are educated/trained to do so do their jobs.

  • Avatar
    steve cates says:

    It is so hard to figure out republicans. They clamor for “local control” and then do all they can in so many ways to keep it from happening!

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      Remember when they pretended to care about the Constitution? Back when Obama was president.

      Luckily for Tennessee, Home Rule is in the State Constitution. The Republican Court of Appeals ruled Casada and Lee vouchers are unconstitutional. These voucher losers are claiming victory because the justices questioned opposing counsel in a Supreme Court Hearing. Bless their hearts if they think that’s a sign of winning.

      Anyway, lock up Casada and Lee: partners in high crime and filers of nuisance lawsuits that clog up our legal system.

    • Avatar
      James White says:

      True. The voucher should apply to All counties and the people should have a way to keep as much Government control of the education of their children as little as possible. Vouchers are a good start, but are far from perfect. Home school would be best.

      • Avatar
        Cryan says:

        The only problem is the Republicans in the General Assembly don’t want vouchers in their districts. Lee and Casada initially included Knox and Hamilton counties. They had enough Republicans from those districts to amend themselves out.

        It only applies to Shelby and Davidson counties because they have no power in a Supermajority one party legislature. It not only violates the letter of the Tennessee Constitution, but the spirit of the Home Rule doctrine.

        When did voters in Nashville approve the “local in scope” provision? When did the Metro Council take the issue up?

        Answer: never.

        Conclusion: unconstitutional.

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Hamblin says:

    All this seems like a mute point, when the investigations are still going on about the bribing of votes, for vouchers from House Reps

  • Avatar
    Cryan says:

    🧐 🤔

    Then: Bill Lee tells Sean Hannity school must be in-person.

    Now: Bill Lee tells Supreme Court school must be virtual online in 2/95 counties. And we should pay $8,000 per kid per semester for the privilege just to help the Devos family with operating expenses.

    🧐 🤔

  • Avatar
    Karen Bracken says:

    Anything the government funds the government controls. Vouchers are just another fraud to suck private schools into the garbage taught in our public and Charter schools. People always with their hand out expecting the government to do what they should do for themselves. People just never learn. Just more fake choice.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Of course, Karen, you are correct and thank you for bringing the downside to vouchers i.e. as a way of turning private schools into government schools to our attention. That is why schools like the great Hillsdale and Grove City Colleges not only refuse to accept government funding but they do not allow their students to accept government aid either.

      That’s why when I used to contribute to institutions of higher education I ignored my own alma maters and contributed to Hillsdale College instead. I believe all conservatives should go and do likewise.

      • Avatar
        Cryan says:

        Hillsdale College has a rich history.

        I remember the time Richard Nixon visited the college and said he hoped that nothing unsavory would happen during his visit. Dean Bitterman reassured the President, saying that nothing would go wrong because he had expelled the rowdy members of Chugalug House. However, Corey Masterson got back at Bitterman by setting off Nerdlinger’s “bra bomb” which sent many bras raining down on the President and the dean. Bitterman angrily screamed “Corey!” and then was shocked to see the President dancing around in the rain of bras. The President told Bitterman to “Lighten up!” and said that Corey would make a perfect addition to his Cabinet as the “Secretary of Partying Down!”

        Take that, you crusty old dean!

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      The government has collected the money FROM all of us to educate children. How wonderful would it be to leave all the collection plate dollars in their hands and be satisfied with reaching into parent’s pants’ pockets to pay AGAIN for private schools. If a Rep legislature such as we have in TN can’t get create sensible curricula standards then shame on them

  • Avatar
    Cryan says:

    The Georgia GQP censured Brian Kemp and Secretary Raffertyburger. Donald Trump just endorsed a Jan. 6 denier and QANon. Good luck in those Georgia and North Carolina suburbs, Stuart.

    GQP Civil War

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