weather icon Partly Cloudy

The ABC’s of how the GOP totally fouled up the ESA’s

Repeat after me: Republicans never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity.

And it seems that even when they do something right, they find a way to do it wrong. Such is the case with Nevada’s new universal school voucher program called “Education Savings Accounts.”

Yes, ESAs are a type of voucher program, though we’re not supposed to call it a voucher program even though we’re taking money for public education and giving it to parents to spend instead of dumping it into the traditional government-run neighborhood failure factories.

If it walks like a duck.

Secondly, homeschoolers who accept the ESA vouchers can’t be called homeschoolers even though they remain, well, homeschoolers. By law, these homeschoolers now must be referred to as “opt-in schoolers.” Nothing changes about the way the kids are educated, yet these homeschooled kids can no longer be officially called homeschoolers.

Good grief.

But the worst aspect of this historic program’s implementation is the metaphysical absurdity of forcing homeschool parents and parents currently sending their kids to a private school to interrupt their child’s current education and force them into a public school for 100 days in order to qualify for an ESA voucher/debit card.

With three home schooled kids representing about $100,000 worth of ESA funding for the remainder of their collective K-12 educations, Gia and I decided to suspend their homeschooling this coming semester and enroll them in a virtual charter school to get qualified.

And what a ridiculous, unnecessary, two-month, bureaucratic red-tape nightmare!

Here’s just one typical example: We were required to submit proof of residency for each of the kids with their enrollment application. A copy of our power bill was submitted for each child. The school accepted the power bill for Child #1, but rejected it for Child #2 and #3 even though all three kids were enrolling in the same school!

There are a ton of reasons many parents opt not to subject their children to a government school education – and the enrollment headaches alone were enough to remind me why we chose to homeschool in the first place.

The excuses from GOP legislators for the 100-day sentence to a public re-education camp are as lame as the horse I bet on in the fifth race at Del Mar last month: (1) We needed to do it to get Democrat votes, and (2) We didn’t have the budget to allow folks to begin getting the ESA money without the 100-day penalty.

First, Republicans didn’t need a single Democrat vote. They had control of the State Assembly, State Senate and Governor’s Office. Secondly, they raised taxes by over a BILLION dollars! Somehow they found millions to pay for English lessons for illegal immigrants but couldn’t find any money in the sofa cushions for lawful citizens? Gimme a break.

Repeat after me: Republicans never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity.

Chuch Muth is president of CitizenOutreach.com and the publisher of www.NevadaNewsandViews.com. You can reach him at ChuckMuth.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Tom Rysinski: Football’s zebra herd needs some thinning

Criticizing officials who work high school games is not something I enjoy doing. They’re not making a fortune, they put up with a lot, and you really have to love doing it to devote so much time and energy to it. And in most sports there is a shortage of them. So criticizing them is usually inappropriate.

Tim Burke: A look at open carry issues in nation

Walmart recently announced that it is “respectfully requesting” that customers not openly carry guns into its stores.

Steve Sebelius: Leadership lessons from people who’ve been there

Former governors and senators discussed leadership lessons at a symposium at UNLV’s William S. Boyd Law School last week in a program headed by former Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Thomas Knapp on universal basic income: a totalitarian state’s dream scheme

Andrew Yang’s small but solid polling in the Democratic Party’s 2020 nomination race shows that “Universal Basic Income” has gone from a fringe idea to an idea with a foothold in the popular consciousness.

Thomas Knapp: ‘Nuance’ in politics, public policy?

In 2004, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry called his ever-shifting position on the war in Iraq “nuanced” as a way of explaining why he was for it before he was against it and why his prescriptions for its future kept changing.