|OHIO GIVES GIFTS TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS FROM THE PUBLIC TREASURY
Typically gifts (donations, contributions) have no strings attached. The givers typically do not make the gifts conditional.
Think about the way lawmakers and governors have given the gift of public funding to private schools in the name of vouchers – with no strings attached.
There is no contract between the State and private schools receiving voucher money.
There is no accountability.
The argument that the voucher money goes to the parent is bogus. The voucher money cannot be used by parents at Walmart for electronics, for example.
The parent is simply delivering the gift – the voucher – from the state to the private school.
Most private schools are church, mosque, or synagogue related.
Those tax funded gifts (donations or contributions) are not subject to public transparency or accountability. They are gifts that are co-mingled with contributions from affiliated faith-based persons and private tuition. The public is not privy to the financial affairs of private schools of any stripe—private schools are not subject to public audit.
So how do public officials justify contributing tax money to private schools, including faith-based parochial schools? They keep changing their justifications.
One day it is helping poor children trapped in failing schools. The next day it is giving the parent and the child a choice.
We know private school vouchers are largely a refund and rebate program for parents who never had any intention of enrolling their children in public schools.
A refund. A rebate. A gift. But it’s going to be a gift that stops giving because this is not going to fly in court.
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Original Author: William L. Phillis | Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding