Senator Tillman today, 2015 : “I’ve never been for school vouchers.” (Policy Watch)
“They [private schools] are not regulated and we don’t know what they teach there, do we? Do you know?” said Tillman at the conclusion of Tuesday’s joint education appropriations meeting. A proponent of “school choice,” Tillman said he prefers the charter school model over private school vouchers.
“And do you know who’s the biggest recipient of school vouchers? A Muslim school,” said Tillman. “The Muslim schools are leading the pack. I’m not in favor of that.”
Let’s take a walk back in time, shall we?
As you read, ask yourself: Does Senator Tillman believe in all school choice or just the choice of schools he deems worthy?
June 2014 on Opportunity Scholarships (vouchers):
Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, the Senate’s chief education budget writer, said he also wants to find room in the final spending plan to cover the program’s extra seats.
“I feel obligated to try to work towards that,” Tillman said. “I don’t know where it’s going to come from yet, but I’m pledging to do what I can to help with that.”
Opposes vouchers, yet that same year ( June 2014) Tillman wanted Public Charter application rules eased:
“I want to be frank with you – we have a very newly established charter advisory board,” Tillman, R-Randolph, told the committee in explaining Senate Bill 793, which would ease the application rules. “The process was flawed, and many mistakes have been made in that process.”
Though he is right on some issues (for instance, he opposes school vouchers and expresses open dissatisfaction with DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos), we think he is wrong on other key ones.
“People say it’s great that vouchers can go to some of these Christian schools,” he said. “But I ask them, do you want to see money go to a Catholic school? Do you want to see it go to a Muslim school, one that teaches Islam? The way the law is written now, it can.”
However, overall the demand is real, and school choice is proving its worth, state Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph) said. “We’re on the cusp of changing education and the public schools.” He went on to say that while he will be fully supporting school choice, as a 40-year public school employee he will also be working just as hard to improve traditional public education. He said that competition will improve education for everyone.
— Pete Kaliner (@PeteKaliner) February 24, 2015