by Brian Harmon
Although the outcome of the recall election was not known at press time, the GOP Club is pushing forward, with its next meeting featuring Mari Barke, president of the Orange County School Board.
Barke has long been an ardent supporter of school choice, the idea that parents should be able to choose what school their children attend when possible. This issue affects LWers because their grandchildren may be forced to attend a public school that they believe is inappropriate for students’ needs for any number of reasons. Although most schools in Orange County are excellent by state standards, not all are. Even those schools considered good may not be the right fit for the child or may be teaching values inconsistent with those of the parent.
For example, the state educational frameworks endorse, but do not require, the teaching of critical race theory (CRT). Some parents might not agree with teaching CRT in the classroom, and being able to choose a school that aligns with the parent’s values is easier when they have the option to opt out of public school teaching.
The public school system, even in relatively conservative Orange County, is primarily governed by unions.
Barke will go over why subsidizing private education might be good for taxpayers, and the reasons why the other side opposes it.