Friday, December 29, 2006

Archie says he supports public schools

In an e-mail to The Turner Report, and in comments in today's Columbia Tribune, Rev. Stan Archie, Kansas City, Governor Matt Blunt's most recent appointment to the State Board of Education, says he is not a voucher supporter.

In the e-mail Rev. Archie said he is a "strong supporter of public schools."

The Columbia Tribune, which has covered Gov. Blunt's State Board appointments better than any other state newspaper, featured this quote by Rev. Archie in an article by education reporter Janese Heavin:

Archie told the Tribune this morning that he does not support using tax dollars for private or religious schools.

"I do not support the idea of using vouchers," he said. "To use tax dollars for private purposes compromises the general philosophy of why we have tax dollars in the first place."
Archie said he comes from a family of public schoolteachers and principals and believes "strongly in public education."
He also said he has tried to separate himself from Whitmore-Smith, whom he has never met but has been tied to because of the close timing of the nominations. Archie said he has no problem with families choosing to send their children to private schools, "but that doesn't negate the responsibility to public education … to pay for and support the public school system."

Ms. Heavin's article is also the first in any state newspaper looking into Gov. Blunt's first State Board appointment, Debi Demien of Wentzville:

In March, Blunt successfully appointed to the State Board of Education Deborah Demien, marketing director for Building God's Way, which specializes in construction of churches and Christian schools.
Demien told the Tribune this morning that she's open to hearing more about vouchers. "I’m not opposed to hearing about any new idea to improve education," she said. "I'm very interested in hearing original ideas because what we’re doing now isn't working."

First, I question Ms. Demien's proposition that public schools are failing. A handful of public schools are failing and perhaps the ideas for saving those failing schools might come from other public schools which have been successful.

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