• 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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