Preview of "School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias"

Rachel Tabachnick

The video below is a short preview of the 34-minute video “School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias.”  Private schools receiving funding through “school choice” programs are using A Beka Book, Bob Jones University Press, and other Protestant fundamentalist curricula.  The textbooks in these series teach that dinosaurs lived on earth with humans; deny global warming; promote hostility toward other religions and other sectors of Christianity (particularly Roman Catholicism); provide a biased and often factually incorrect version of history; and teach extreme laissez-faire economics, claimed to be biblically-based.

The full length video (embedded at end of article) focuses on the state of Pennsylvania and its Education Improvement Tax Credit program or EITC, the oldest and second largest corporate tax credit program in the country.  Pennsylvania was the site of Kitzmiller v. Dover, which unfolded in 2005 in the full glare of the press.  Meanwhile an end run has been made around this case and other well-publicized battles over curriculum.  The EITC program, with little press or controversy, is providing taxpayer funding for private schools that have no accountability to the public whatsoever. Taxes of all types owed by businesses to the state, are diverted to “scholarships” for private schools. In Florida, the largest of these programs, over 80% of the students subsidized by tax credits are attending religious schools, many of them using fundamentalist curricula. 

Preview of “School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias” from Rachel Tabachnick on Vimeo

The full length version of the video exposes how this is taking place.

The national pro-voucher movement is spearheaded by the Betsy DeVos-led American Federation for Children, which has absorbed Advocates for School Choice and includes Alliance for School Choice, and funds many of the state “school choice” non-profits. A major partner in states across the nation, and an organizer of local support for the pending Pennsylvania voucher bill SB-1, is the Association for Christian Schools International  (ACSI).

ACSI claims 22,900 member schools in 100 nations, describes itself as “a leader in accrediting Protestant pre-K-12 schools worldwide,” and also provides continuing education credits for teachers.  ACSI advertises 186 member schools in Pennsylvania and is one of the “Scholarship Organizations” authorized to distribute funds from corporations receiving tax credits.  ACSI was the plaintiff in an unsuccessful suit, ACSI v. Roman Stearns, to try to force the University of California system to accept high school course credits taught from specific A Beka Book and Bob Jones University Press textbooks.

The full length video is divided into two parts: 1) a section of quotes from many different A Beka and Bob Jones textbooks, and 2) a section on some of the Pennsylvania private schools and their supporters, who are working to expand the benefits these schools would receive through vouchers and a larger EITC program.

This video is about Pennsylvania, but what is seen in this video is also taking place in Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, and other states with school vouchers and/or corporate tax credit programs.

http://vimeo.com/25670381

Short Preview  (5 minutes)

http://vimeo.com/25606393

Full Length Version (34 minutes)

Below is the full length version of “School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias,” with research compiled by Rachel Tabachnick and Bruce Wilson.

School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias from Rachel Tabachnick on Vimeo

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