ACLU lobbying to end school choice in Vermont

By Rob Roper

As the Vermont Legislature gears up for lawmaking in 2023, a big issue in the education arena is what to do about Vermont’s 150-year-old school choice system known as “tuitioning” following the Carson v. Makin U.S. Supreme Court decision. Makin ruled that if a state offers a school choice program, as Vermont does, it cannot discriminate against religious schools from participating in the program.

Rather than allow Vermont’s 14 approved independent religious schools to accept tuitioning students, many legislators would rather scrap tuitioning to independent schools altogether. It appears these lawmakers have an ally in the American Civil Liberties Union.

Falko Schilling of the Vermont ACLU briefed the House Education Committee on his organization’s position on Vermont School Choice stating that there are two options: Limit the use of public dollars to public schools, eliminating any independent school from receiving tuitioning dollars. This Schilling describes as the simplest and “most straight forward option that exists.” Or passing a law that would mandate school districts “designate” which independent school a student could attend, taking the choice away from parents and thus severely limiting the number of independent schools that would be able to receive tuitioning students, religious or not.

There is, of course, a third option available to Vermont legislators: allow parents in tuitioning towns to continue choose the best educational option for their family, even if that choice happens to be a religious school. But, at this point, it’s not one they appear to be entertaining.

Rob Roper is a freelance writer covering Vermont education issues for EdWatch Vermont.

Image courtesy of state of Vermont

12 thoughts on “ACLU lobbying to end school choice in Vermont

  1. Perhaps there should be an effort made to determine and identify all funding sources of VT’s ACLU, for the purpose of widely publishing who those organizations are, so that they can be boycotted and defunded.

  2. I often wonder why thee are no TNR readers agreeing with the ACLU in this regard. Is it because no one agrees with Mr. Schilling? Or is it because no one sees a need to publicly support the ACLU point of view?

    I suspect the later, for the most part. Which should indicate to anyone with common sense the problems that occur when having a choice is verboten.

    • The second is correct Jay, aclu is nothing more then a leftist mouth or like media matters or the msm. They are the propagandist of democrat socialism (nazis)

  3. any legislator accepting union NEA money should not be allowed to vote on tuition to independent schools, and the leftist lie org ACLU has no business promoting no school choice. Their charter should be revoked as school choice is a CIVIL LIBERTY…as well as being a option other then state sponsored indoctrination.

  4. The ACLU is a hate-filled organization. I know public schools WELL and I can tell you that they are horrible in so many ways and it’s only getting worse. If you want woke, equitable educational outcomes (mediocrity), then by all means, send your kids to public schools. As I write this, I’m literally watching Bernie Sanders blather to Essex High School students on the news about his socialist approach to government. If you want traditional education, hard work, merit-based outcomes, competition, high expectations, and critical thinking….you MUST send your kid to a Catholic school. It’s that simple and I’m not religious. The wasted dollars in these public school districts would blow taxpayers’ minds if they actually knew.

  5. Respectfully: Rob Roper suggests Vermont “allow parents in tuitioning towns to continue choose the best educational option for their family” … but why should only parents in tuitioning towns have this choice?

    We are parents in a non-tuitioning town which operates a union high school which is not a good fit for our children. We are able to use the limited-scope public high school choice program to drive our children to and from another town’s public high school, which we do. But why should we not have the same options for our children’s education (such as independent or religious schools) that families living literally less than five miles away have, simply because their town is very small and has always tuitioned and our town has historically operated its own high school?

  6. Parents should have a reasonable choce as to the education of their children. If they feel that the local government school is not adequate or is indoctrinating their children in ways they do not approve they should be able to apply their education spending accordingly.

    Schools recieving state education funding must be fully acredited.

  7. In Sun Tzu, The Art of War, it speaks of how the highest art form of war is to take over a country without firing a shot. The Soviets and US have used these techniques, which in military terms is known as subversion.

    Here is a video, that explains what they do. …

    Perhaps 3 of the most effective parts of the plan is too, Undermine and infiltrate the educational system and the religious underpinnings of any great country, throw in the kicker of confusing the populace about their sexuality.

    Charlotte Iserbyt wrote a great book, the Intentional Dumbing Down of America, here is an interview on Mainely Unspoken…..

    What we are experiencing is not a “coincidence”, it’s planned and once in place is self-perpetuating in the wrong direction, where the start came from is tough to tell, there could be several actors working on the mission separately on a “need to know” basis.

    What is undeniable is the mirror image to which things are being done, where by….it’s undeniable that the fruit of these organizations are not for the people, science and most certainly, truth and love.

    Their day will come. TGBTG

  8. This ACLU fellow’s name, Falko Schilling, is curiously appropriate. Falko Schilling is a ‘shill’ for those advocating state plans and controls of our economy and social structure, through an authoritarian ‘uniparty’. While Schilling claims to advocate for the usual talking point, ‘equity’, his logic is nothing short of Plato’s conceit… as if he were wiser than God… promoting a vision of utopia that history has shown over and again will surely make a hell on earth.

    Think about it… carefully. When this immoral logic is projected to its ‘final solution’, the State will decide who among us lives or dies. This is not an overstatement. It is the logical progression.

    The ACLU has become the antithesis of its namesake. It is a cult, the biblical false prophet promoting a false security. Behold, the public education monopoly. Behold, a Pale Horse.

    • The motivation for the ACLU’s evil public advocacy may not be as overwhelming as the profoundly epic battle between good and evil. It is likely a more pedestrian con. Consider yesterday’s headline.

      ‘Despite increased use, analysis says Arizona’s school choice program saving taxpayers money’

      People like Falko Schilling, and the legislators he’s addressing, are nothing more than grifters. Does School Choice save taxpayer money? Yes! But more importantly, School Choice stops the flow of money from taxpayers to the public-school monopoly grifters stalking their prey at the great public education watering hole.

      Surprise, surprise…. It’s all about the money. These grifters can’t figure out how to earn it, so they steal it from you. And not only are they stealing your money, their methods are academically and socially dangerous for the children the public-school monopoly is holding hostage.

  9. It seems so obvious at this point- what their big vision is..

    They want Vermont to be a playground for the rich people and the entire rest of the population is there to serve them- convinced to do so by allowing them to be Free Rangers within Invisible Fencing- in there they will own nothing and be happy- as demanded.
    If the people are sufficiently dumbed down, they’ll agree to all this- they figure.

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