Notes from a Hometown, Part 1: Your Tax Dollars at Work for God:
The Rude Pundit is on one of his bi-yearly visitations to his hometown, Lafayette, Louisiana. Louisiana, in case you didn't know, is run by the weak-chinned Bobby Jindal, who leaves the state so often to keep Mitt Romney's balls dry that, for a while, he just stopped notifying the Lieutenant Governor, which is in complete violation of the state constitution. But constitutions big or small never stopped Jindal, who is called "Gov. Voucher" by the local independent newsweekly, conveniently named The Independent, for his embrace of education-by-voucher, which will go huge in the next year and shift a shit ton of cash from public schools to private schools.
This upcoming school year, in Lafayette Parish (that's what they call counties here because of, you know, church shit), $1.6 million in public school funds will instead go to five religious schools: Lafayette Christian Academy, John Paul the Great Academy, Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Holy Family Christian School and Gethsemane Christian Academy.
And lest you think that this is a use of public funds to promote a particular religion, JP the G's headmaster, Kevin Roberts, will put you at ease. "We are selective, selective on both religious grounds, someone has to be Catholic or Catholic friendly to come to the school," Roberts said, "and be able to handle the academic rigor." And his school will get about 300,000 public education dollars to be selective on the basis of religion. Replace "Catholic" with "Muslim" and you will see legislators' heads explode in confusion.
Bonus fun fact: Johnny P to the G hadn't even secured a campus until a month ago. But once the word went out that the academy was in danger of losing the land it was supposed to purchase, and Pope-loving dollars flowed in. "This school has become the cause célèbre for Roman Catholics around the country," said Roberts, who really should shut the fuck up, considering the lawsuits that have been filed against the state's voucher program, saying that it violates the separation between church and state.
Bonuser fun fact: Most of the schools participating in the voucher program are "small, Christian schools — evangelical mostly along with a fair number of Roman Catholic schools — tiny operations with fewer than 100 students," some of which have raised their tuition in anticipation of the state cash.
Bonusest fun fact: The voucher-validated schools do not have to have board-certified teachers, accept special needs students, or have updated technology. Or teach evolution. Because we wouldn't want to encroach on religious freedom, now, would we?
Essentially, you could open up the Oh-Fuck-These-Nails-Hurt Bloody Palms of Jesus Academy for the Flagellation of Children, and, as long as you meet a few basic requirements, you could get thousands of dollars from your neighbors to teach whatever perverted version of history and science and math you could want. (Sample test question for 2nd grade: "If you're reading a verse in Book 12 of Deuteronomy and you need to read a verse in Book 4, how many books would you have to go back?")