The Republican war on public education continues
West Virginia moves to microschooling
From Mountain State Spotlight:
Students at microschools, a mix between private schools and homeschooling that largely operate without scrutiny, could soon access state funds from the Hope Scholarship program under a proposed change.https://t.co/1nbKRv4wyz— Mountain State Spotlight (@mtnstspotlight) January 11, 2023
Not surprisingly, this has largely gone under the West Virginia news radar:
With the effects of West Virginia’s Hope scholarship in its first year, and its impact on public school funding yet to be felt across the state, the treasurer’s office has opened the door to more students outside the public school system to receive the roughly $4,300 per student in taxpayer money that would otherwise go to public schools.
On Jan. 4, the treasurer’s office filed an emergency amendment to their rule governing the distribution of Hope Scholarship funds that will allow it to be used towards “microschool” tuition. Now, the Secretary of State’s office has until Feb. 15 to approve the rule. If they don’t make a decision by then, it will automatically take effect for at least the next 15 months.
What is a microschool?
A microschool is something between a private school and homeschooling: a group of students of any size learning under at least one teacher. Putting the distinction in statute clarified that microschools do not have to follow laws governing private schools, even if they resemble one in some ways.
Most importantly, as the article points out: “there’s essentially no regulatory scrutiny for microschools.” This awaits approval by Mac Warner’s Secretary of State’s office and Riley Moore’s Treasurer’s office. (I don’t see any problems in either case.) If you care about public education, you need to read this article. (Click on the twitter feed or go here.)
The WV Senate picks up where they left off on controlling classroom discussion about racism
If you remember last March, the state senate failed to pass an “anti-CRT” bill because it ran out of time. (I wrote about the legislature’s CRT legislation a number of times, see here, for instance.) Earlier today, WV Metro News reported that this year’s version, the Anti-Racism Act of 2023, passed the state senate 30-2.
The policies that were considered last year changed many times, but the final version would have prohibited school leaders from compelling adherence to concepts such as one race being inherently morally or intellectually superior to another. Or, that an individual’s moral character is determined by their race. Proponents said the bill will prevent the indoctrination of “critical race theory.” Critics said its actual effect would be to chill classroom discussions about race.
"Chill classroom discussions about race" -- of course, it will. That was the intention from the beginning. (I would think that teaching the U.S. Constitution with its 3/5 clause would now be out-of-bounds.)