Here we go again. Gov. Phil Bryant last week proposed yet another plan to raid the public school treasury, this time to support private schools.
The governor and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves already are pushing a proposal to create more charter schools, which compete with public schools but do not have to meet all of the standards and regulations imposed on public schools.
The proposal failed to pass in the last legislative session, but the state’s Republican leadership has made it a priority for the session that opens next month.
Now, Bryant has proposed a voucher plan that would allow donors to get a credit on their state income tax for funding a scholarship for a child to attend private school.
Under the Bryant proposal, scholarships could be used to support students whose families have incomes below 250 percent of the federal poverty level and for students attending D or F rated public schools.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 250 percent of the poverty level income for a couple with two children this year would be $57,625. For a couple with three children, the number would be $67,525.
The plan would benefit the state’s private schools, many of which originally were created as segregationist academies.
It’s a bad idea.
He also proposed allowing a child to attend any school in the state, regardless of district lines. Another bad idea.
The state needs to improve its public schools and put money into early childhood education. We can ill afford the anti-public school antics of the governor and lieutenant governor.