The committee was stacked from the beginning with Speaker of the House Rod Jetton attempting to give the appearance of bi-partisan cooperation by appointing two Democrats to be the chairman and co-chairman of the committee.
Those Democrats, Ted Hoskins and Rodney Hubbard, are two of the few Democrats who support this transparent effort to open the door for vouchers.
Our local representative on the committee, Steve Hunter, R-Joplin, indicated that anyone who opposes this legislation must be doing so for racial reasons:
The failing schools serve mostly black students. Steve Hunter, R-Joplin, Mo., sees it as partly a racial issue. "It is a racial problem because the white people out there want to ignore it," said Hunter, who is white.
It appears that many of the people supporting this program are doing so because they believe disruptive students will receive the kind of discipline in private schools that they do not receive in public schools.
This is a dangerous myth. While many private schools have excellent, and I am sure well-earned reputations for academics and discipline, one reason many of them hold such reputations is because they do not have the kind of disruptive students who so often deprive well-behaved students of valuable learning time because they have to wait for the teacher to take care of disciplinary problems.
This is another of those issues that No Child Left Behind fails to address- How can every child become proficient in math and reading when you have some children who have no intention whatsoever of learning while they are in school, and don't care if anyone else does either.
If those students are placed in private schools, it would not be long before we would hear about those schools having the same sort of problems that face inner-city public schools.