ABCs of how GOP fouled education vouchers


Repeat after me: Republicans never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity.

And it seems that even when they do something right, they find a way to do it wrong. Such is the case with Nevada's new universal school voucher program called education savings accounts.

Yes, education savings accounts are a type of voucher program, though we're not supposed to call it a voucher program even though we're taking money for public education and giving it to parents to spend instead of dumping it into the traditional government-run neighborhood failure factories.

If it walks like a duck.

Secondly, home-schoolers who accept the education savings account vouchers can't be called home-schoolers even though they remain, well, home-schoolers. By law, these home-schoolers now must be referred to as "opt-inschoolers." Nothing changes about the way the kids are educated, yet these home-schooled kids can no longer be officially called home-schoolers.

Good grief.

But the worst aspect of this historic program's implementation is the metaphysical absurdity of forcing home-school parents and parents currently sending their kids to a private school to interrupt their child's current education and force them into a public school for 100 days in order to qualify for an education savings account voucher/debit card.

With three home-schooled kids representing about $100,000 worth of education savings account funding for the remainder of their collective K-12 educations, Gia and I decided to suspend their home schooling this coming semester and enroll them in a virtual charter school to get qualified.

And what a ridiculous, unnecessary, two-month, bureaucratic red-tape nightmare!

Here's just one typical example: We were required to submit proof of residency for each of the kids with their enrollment application. A copy of our power bill was submitted for each child. The school accepted the power bill for Child No. 1, but rejected it for Child No. 2 and No. 3 even though all three kids were enrolling in the same school.

There are a ton of reasons many parents opt not to subject their children to a government school education, and the enrollment headaches alone were enough to remind me why we chose to home school in the first place.

The excuses from GOP legislators for the 100-day sentence to a public re-education camp are as lame as the horse I bet on in the fifth race at Del Mar last month: 1. We needed to do it to get Democrat votes, and 2. We didn't have the budget to allow folks to begin getting the education savings account money without the 100-day penalty.

First, Republicans didn't need a single Democrat vote. They had control of the state assembly, state senate and governor's office. Secondly, they raised taxes by over a billion dollars.

Somehow they found millions to pay for English lessons for illegal immigrants but couldn't find any money in the sofa cushions for lawful citizens? Gimme a break.

Repeat after me: Republicans never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grass roots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.muthstruths.com.