Salon has a feature story on charter schools this morning that's worth a read - NC is highlighted extensively in the piece, which discusses many of the problems with these taxpayer-funded windfalls for private companies and religious institutions more interested in their own agenda than educating our kids.
Writing for NC Policy Watch, Lindsay Wagner recently reported, “For the first time in its history, North Carolina will allow taxpayer funds to go to largely unaccountable private schools, 70 percent of which are religious institutions.”
What’s not required of these private schools would set off alarm bells in most parents’ minds: “Criminal background checks, any kind of curricular goals or guidelines, credentialed and/or licensed teaching staff, and a requirement to reflect the racial and ethnic demographics of the district in the student.”
A lone state regulator is responsible for conducting site visits to all 698 of these private schools. “I try to get out to all of them once every three years,” he told Wagner, which amounts to roughly 233 school visits each year across the state.
And there's this:
Another school, Bethel Christian Academy in Kinston, “provides its students with an educational program that in its entirety, exalts and glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ by making Him the center of all things.”
The school uses textbooks that are “God-centered,” and Wagner observed, “teach students Bible-based facts, including the following: dinosaurs and humans co-existed on Earth; slave-masters generally treated their slaves well; in some areas, the KKK fought the decline in morality by using the sign of the cross; and gay people have no more claims to special rights than child molesters or rapists.”
“If you are a gay student or interested in listening to or creating secular music,” noted Wagner, “that’s grounds for expulsion.”
Frankly, I'm livid - not one penny of my tax dollars should be used for this kind of religious claptrap and intimidation.