Op/Ed: Defunding public schools is the goal

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By Lisa Longo, Special To The Times

Lisa Longo

I’ve been following the hysteria being created by right-wing media over “Critical Race Theory” and how it has now devolved into the Republican Party calling for an army of the uninformed, or misinformed, to show up at school board meetings to protest a curriculum that doesn’t exist.

Now they have told people that “CRT,” as it is being called, is really what is meant by “equity.” It is not.

Equity is the idea that every student has individual educational needs that we must supply in order to provide the FREE and EQUAL education our Constitution mandates.

Yes, it is a Constitutional RIGHT.

Critical Race Theory has NOTHING to do with Equity Policy. CRT is just a fear mongering tactic by the far right to convince people to distrust public schools.

And what is there to gain by creating this distrust? Hundreds of millions per district, and by some estimates maybe a trillion dollars total per year in school funding.  The goal is to launder these public funds into private profit by creating voucher schemes and online charters “managed” by vulture capital created education management corporations.

You see, local property taxes go directly to local school districts. The funds are used to create local jobs. Fund local construction projects. Care for local grounds and create opportunities for local families.

The money never goes to DC, or Harrisburg.

And that is the problem. There is no way to skim off money, or create earnings per share, if you don’t move the money out of local school districts.

This is just another scheme to scam taxpayers into distrusting government and blaming schools to enrage the base of the far right and undermine our democratic foundation.

And if you don’t believe me that public education is the foundation of our Republic, just ask George Washington. In an address to Congress he said, “A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing then communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?” That includes teaching facts. And History.

Equity is simply the idea that we provide the students with what they need. Anyone who tells you different is lying. And by the way, equity will save school districts money. So it will also keep property taxes low. So why are Republicans trying to remove something that will keep taxes low? Why would the Republican Party want to force property tax increases?

Attend your local school board meetings. Don’t let disinformation and fear mongering do real and lasting harm to our children.

Liss Longo is the former president of the Phoenixville Board of Education.

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