Friday, August 17, 2007

Another Democrat Supports . . . School Vouchers?

Well, Maybe

Thanks to Chris for the inspiration

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (D) announced today a more limited expansion of State intrusion, er, assistance for preschool according to today’s DC Examiner. The Commonwealth already spends $50 million a year for putting 12,500 kids in preschool, and the Governor wants to spend $75 million more. Note that the current figure is $4,000 per child (more than we spent each year on our older son's preschool)!

Here’s the kicker from the article:

Lawmakers also are concerned about Kaine’s intention to provide state funding to private and parochial programs willing to accept the low-income children. Although including those operations will reduce startup costs, it also raises the issue of providing state dollars to religious institutions.

“By including private providers and faith-based facilities, we can make smarter use of our resources, focusing on quality programs rather than on bricks and mortar,” Kaine said.

Okaaaay, so college students can get what are essentially vouchers to attend any kind of post-secondary institution, right? Gov. Kaine wants to allow preschoolers to be given vouchers to attend any kind of institution. So we are admitting that these private institutions “reduce startup costs?” Ummm, does that mean because there are no teacher union bureaucracies?

Well, let’s take this to its logical conclusion. Why not privatize the rest of the Commonwealth’s school system. Heck, that way you can reduce all kinds of school costs, erase Virginia’s $200 million deficit, ensure localities get their fair share of per-pupil education funding, provide higher quality education, and most importantly, there would be more than enough money for this hare-brained (or hare-Kained) scheme of funding preschool for everyone.

Or, you know, since that would cost $300 million to $500 million, you could give a tax cut of at least $150 - $250 to every family of four in Virginia. Naaaaaaaah!

Thanks, Governor, for giving political cover to every conservative Republican in the Commonwealth, if not the entire country! I’m almost hoping Hillary picks you as a running mate.