Sunday, February 28, 2016

Attack of the voucher vultures

Editorial columnist and cartoonist for the Daily Star, David Fitzsimmons, has the inside scoop on a conversation between the Dark Lord Darth Ducey and his chief Orc-estrator, Master Kirk of the Adams Family.

The governor’s chief of staff, Kirk Adams, handed Doug Ducey the numbers. “Governor, I’m proud to say we have the worst-funded public education system in the United States. We’re behind Mississippi and Albania.” Adams beamed. “And wherever Borat was from.”

The governor was animated. “Really, Adams? That’s fantastic. The question is, can we top that? Be creative! Ask yourself, ‘Can we do worse?’”

“Well, we have an idea brewing in the Legislature. What would happen if we expanded our vouchers scheme statewide to include everyone? It’s a great public education killer.”

“How does it work?”

“We’re going to siphon off public school funds to subsidize private schools.”

[snip] Good read here! Ducey objects to "siphon."

Adams took a deep breath. “Al-right-y then. Our vouchers scheme will steal taxpayer dollars from public education’s pitiful coffers — giggle — and redistribute those monies as subsides for private and parochial schools! And we’re calling it the ‘Empowerment Scholarship Account.’”

Ducey laughed. “As long as this plan ‘empowers’ my private school backers I’m in! Nice work! Here’s an ice cream coupon, Adams. Try the Koch-o-nut flavored sherbet. ”

Adams pocketed the coupon.“We’re winning the fight, sir! I saw in the latest poll that 87 percent of Arizonans are getting sick of explaining the value of public education to Republicans. They’re desperate to accept Proposition 123. Throw a starving man a crumb and he’ll crawl to lick it off the sidewalk.”

AZBlueMeanie notes: "Sometimes political satire is far more effective than straight news, especially when it is grounded upon the truth. David Fitzsimmons’ column today at the Arizona Daily Star is a classic."

Right on! Read more of Fitz's account here. Check out the Blue Meanie's post for related toons from Fitz.

P. S.

Daily Star columnist Tim Steller searches for accountability in the voucher program ... and finds none. He concludes:

Accountability measures, it seems, are for the educational programs the Legislature doesn’t like, such as district schools. The programs lawmakers do like — such as vouchers — are presumed good.

Or, as Fitz put it:

Adams spoke calmly. “We don’t regulate private education, governor. Unlike our public schools, they’re completely unaccountable, unregulated and unchecked. There is no oversight. Home schoolers, private schools and parochial schools all operate in the dark. Remember, governor, we only use oversight and regulation to cripple public education.”

The buzzing sound you hear is Darth Ducey's red light saber as he slashes the K-12 budget.

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