(Chuck Muth) – Let’s set the scene for this tragedy…
In the last school year, Opportunity Scholarships – privately funded donations from corporations that get a tax credit for participating in the program just like other charitable gifts – were capped at $11 million.
The scholarships – which can be used by students to attend the private school of their choice – go to about 1,500 mostly minority children in low-income families earning less than $60,000/year.
Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo proposed this year to boost that cap to $25 million for the coming school year. But the Democrats who control both houses of the Legislature by large margins told him to pound sand.
Actually, it was worse than that.
Not only didn’t the Democrats marginally increase the funding cap on Opportunity Scholarships, they CUT the program almost in half to $6.6 million – which means some 600 low-income, minority children are about to be forced back into a “failure factory” government-owned/union-managed public school
Leading the blockade of “George Wallace” Democrats who are now standing in schoolhouse doors refusing to let little dark-skinned kids out was Assembly Speaker Steve “Donut Boy” Yeager.
Playing the part of David to Donut Boy’s Goliath has been Valeria Gurr – a young woman, first-generation immigrant, and “Mama Bear” who’s become a force of nature in the fight for school choice in Nevada.
“We have to focus on the kids instead of focusing on the system,” Valeria said in an interview. “That why I got involved in school choice, because I realized that my community and other minorities need access to different options.”
“To me, school choice means that students have the opportunity to exit poverty,” she continued. “For people who weren’t born in a wealthy and connected circle, they’re always going to be disadvantaged. Those are the people that fall through the cracks, and they’re the people that school choice helps most.”
Valeria – who holds a master’s degree and is pursuing her PhD – organizes rallies, does press interviews, and is all over social media championing better educational opportunities for Nevada’s children.
She is a true and committed citizen activist. Wish I could clone her!
Well, a few days ago the media started running stories about how those 600 kids were about to get screwed royally and be forced out of the school of their choice thanks to Donut Boy and his ilk who are captives of the state’s teachers unions.
On July 24, Valeria re-posted a story about the Royal Screw-Job by ABC News 13, noting that Yeager – and his Democrat accomplice in the State Senate, Majority Leader Nicole Cannibizzaro – had blocked Lombardo’s proposal and defunded the scholarships for those 600-some students.
While Donut Boy hid from the media and refused to do any interviews on the controversy, he did take to Twitter to dress down and slam Gurr…
“Valeria, I expect dark money PACs to be fast and loose with the truth. As a registered lobbyist though, I expect you to be familiar with the facts. The #NVLeg didn’t ‘defund’ the program.
“In accordance with NRS 363B.119(4), we continued the already existing tax credit of not more than $6,655,000 for each of the next two fiscal years.
“What we refused to do is increase that tax credit to 100s of millions of dollars per year to fund vouchers that ship public money to unaccountable private schools.”
Ah, a wealthy white guy man-splaining to a Hispanic mother. How…cute.
But in the words of Victor Matlin in Beverly Hills Cop, it is painfully obvious that Donut Boy hasn’t the slightest f-ing idea who he’s dealing with. Mama Bear fired back…
“The program has less money this year than in the previous year thanks to your actions. It went from $11.4 million to $6.65 million. Stop with the double talk; you harmed hundreds of lower-income kids.”
I mean, it’s simple math. The program was getting $11.4 million. The Democrats cut it to $6.6 million. Which means they defunded $4.4 million from the program. And all Donut Boy’s double-talk and spin can’t change that fact.
And while it’s true that Gov. Lombardo originally proposed last January increasing the funding for Opportunity Scholarships to $500 million over the next ten years, his administration was willing to compromise and simply maintain the existing $11.4 million in funding so none of the kids currently receiving Opportunity Scholarships would lose them.
Yeager and the Democrats’ response to those children: Drop dead.
Some additional points…
- Speaking of “dark money,” how much “dark money” is funneled by the teachers unions to Democrats who do their bidding in blocking school choice? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
- And what’s with Donut Boy referring to Valeria as a “registered lobbyist”? Was that a threat against her ability to officially continue fighting for school choice in the Legislature?
- The funding for this program is for privately-donated “scholarships” not “vouchers.” Yeager’s simply playing “woke” word-games to defend his indefensible lies.
But the Mother of All Propaganda on this issue is Yeager’s claim that Opportunity Scholarship money is “public money (going) to unaccountable private schools.”
That’s like criticizing food stamps as public money going to unaccountable private grocery stores. Or public Section 8 money going to unaccountable private apartment complexes.
But the worst is the absurd notion that private schools are unaccountable while public schools are. Nothing could be further from the truth.
If a private school doesn’t deliver the goods, the customers – parents – will take their business elsewhere. It’s the most effective form of accountability there is.
On the other hand, Nevada’s public schools continue to be among the absolute worst in the nation. Often rated dead last.
Where’s the accountability for them? How many of these failure factories have ever been closed for not providing even the most basic education for some of the most vulnerable children in our communities?
None. So much for accountability.
Yeager’s attack on Gurr reminds me of the famous lament by Japanese Admiral Yamamoto after his attack on Pearl Harbor: I fear all Yeager has done is awaken a sleeping giant and fill her with a terrible resolve.
You don’t poke a Mama Bear with a stick.
Donut Boy better hope Republicans don’t recruit a viable candidate against him next year. Because if they do, Valeria’s black, brown and polar fellow Mama Bears are gonna chew him up and spit him out.
Save the Date
Monday, August 21, 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Citizen Outreach will be hosting a one-of-a-kind cocktail reception/dinner in Las Vegas featuring Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei and Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo. Additional details to follow.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“Adult material shouldn’t be in a fourth-grade classroom. You want to look at adult material, go watch Hunter Biden’s laptop for all I care, but don’t do it to our kids.” – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views, and founder of CampaignDoctor.com. You can sign up for his conservative, Nevada-focused e-newsletter at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.