Boston News Media Lobby for Government Takeover of Parochial Schools

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The
Boston News Media relentlessly lobby for more government spending,
more taxes, more government authority, and more government control.
They also advance their egalitarian social agenda. They have a sizable
ability to influence attitudes, elections, and government policy.

There's
one large sphere of influence in Massachusetts that opposes the
Boston News Media, at least on some issues: the Catholic Church.
We should not be surprised that the Boston Globe and other
media outlets in the state are exploiting the priest scandal to
de-legitimize the Catholic Church.

In
the wake of the scandal, the Catholic Church has been forced to
close parishes, and now parochial schools are on the ropes.

Coverage
of the Catholic Church's failure to report and rein in abusive priests
is certainly warranted. A call for justice for Catholic families
was long overdue.

But
the Boston News Media's continual negative coverage of the Catholic
Church is more than news reporting; it is lobbying and editorializing
disguised as news. This is particularly evident when compared with
their constant puffing of their prized Big Government Programs —
public schools among them.

The
coup de grce came this month when they reported that Boston politicians
are working to buy up closing parochial schools with taxpayer dollars.

The
Boston Globe said, “City Council President Michael Flaherty
wants the city to consider buying cash-strapped and underenrolled
parochial schools that may be closed, hoping it will edge Boston
closer to neighborhood schools and allow the district to dismantle
its decades-old busing policy.”

Rather
than debunk such a lame excuse for buying up parochial schools,
this news story ignores the obvious: the City of Boston can end
its disgraced busing legacy by simply letting kids enroll in the
existing schools nearest to their homes.

In
this quote, the Boston Globe refuses to point out the city
councilor's hypocrisy: “Flaherty…asked the archdiocese in October
to give Boston the u2018right of first refusal' before selling any more
closed schools. [Flaherty] also said the church should consider
selling to the city at a reduced price.”

Boston
government bureaucrats regularly pay their union pals two to three
times competitive market labor rates to build public schools. Yet
they want the Church to hand over its schools for pennies on the
dollar.

The
Boston Globe further refuses to acknowledge the veiled threat
in this quote from the city councilor: “u2018What I tell the archdiocese
is that we need a partner here, and we’d like your help,' Flaherty
said. u2018I’m sure the archdiocese would benefit from some good will.'”

This
is Tony Soprano Politics: Sell us your schools at fire sale prices
or we'll burn you out. We'll continue to vigorously prosecute and
defame the church.

The
“Partnership for a Big Government Boston” — the Boston city government
and Boston News Media — is threatening to destroy its major competitor.
The state and its ally are attempting to seize power from the church.

Exposure
of the priest scandal, even with fair and objective reporting, may
well have led to the closing of some parochial schools. But consider
how they're blacking out news about government-run public schools.

Survey
random Massachusetts voters to see if they read about the former
finance director of the Massachusetts Teachers Association who got
convicted for stealing $802,000 from their bank account last year.
90% of the people whom I pose this question to respond with a dismayed
and embarrassed, “uh, no.”

The
Boston News Media similarly buried the story of the Lunenburg school
superintendent a few months later who was indicted for stealing
more than $420,000 from the central Massachusetts school district.

Consumers
of newspaper, radio, and TV news should know about these public
school officials who stole over $1.2 million. But they don't.

Consider
the Boston News Media blackout of this major education phenomenon:
the discrepancy between the outcomes of parochial schools compared
with those of government-run public schools.

Parochial
schools cost $3,500 per student per year while the Boston Public
Schools spend well over $11,000 per student per year.

Parochial
school kids learn to read — and to read well. Half of Boston's public
school graduates and dropouts fail to meet minimal literacy standards
set by the state Department of Education.

Parents
of parochial school children living in the city are grateful to
have a safe, affordable place to send their kids where they can
get a decent education.

But
most parents facing the prospect of sending their kids to the city's
public schools are desperate to find an alternative. If they can
afford it, they enroll them in private school. Otherwise they flee
the city for suburban schools, homeschool their children, or compete
to get their kids into the least bad of their public school choices.

If
the Boston News Media sincerely cared about “the children,” they
would expose the extensive damage being done by the Massachusetts
public schools. They would investigate, discover, and report how
decades of reforms and increased spending has utterly failed. They
would spend a lot more time reporting on the success of parochial
schools and other forms of private education.

But
the Boston News Media have taken a vow of silence on the sins of
pubic schools — unless insufficient taxes and government spending
are blamed. “More taxes” is their mantra. More lousy public schools
are the result.

If
not for the lobbying of the Boston News Media, parochial schools
would be doing better, and the brimming coffers of failed public
schools would be shrinking instead.

February
25, 2004

Carla
Howell [send her mail]
was co-sponsor of the 2002 ballot Initiative
to End the Income Tax in Massachusetts
and author of Maybe
We Would Be Amazed
— a unique song-and-booklet package about
education freedom.


        
        

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