Chris Berg was kind enough to invite me on to his 6:30 POV program again last night opposite John Strand of the High Plains Reader. It was a fun discussion covering higher education issues and school choice bills.
Strand said my complaints about the anti-Catholic religious bigotry enshrined in our state constitution were a “red herring,” and said that language should stay because it protects against school choice policies. Strand is right that the “Blaine amendment” is an obstacle to school choice legislation, but that’s still a separate issue from whether or not we want the vestiges of bigotry to remain in our state constitution?
And Strand was dangling a bit of a red herring himself. He invoked the oft-cited (and little understood) “separation of church and state” line in arguing against school choice, but that’s not really why the left is against school choice. If a school choice bill allowed funds only to secular private schools, the left would still oppose it because their goal is protecting the public schools monopoly and the unions that run it.
School choice policies are intended to empower parents and students. The anti-school choice folks want to empower schools and bureaucrats.