Michael Pence as Vice President: What does it Mean for Public Education?

Press Release 681

AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT

SCHOOLS

 

PRESS RELEASE 681#

 

MICHAEL PENCE AS VICE-PRESIDENT:

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION?

 

 

The following information was, in part, obtained from The Voice of Reason :The Journal of Americans for Religious Liberty, 2016 No.3

 

Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana is the Vice-President elect for the nation’s second highest office. Who is he and what is his view on public education? Pence barely won the governor-ship of Indiana in 2012 by three percentage points, and has been a controversial governor whose re-election was uncertain. But he is popular among evangelicals, whose faith he shares.  He has tried to advance his beliefs through public policies.

Pence and Public Education

Pence will be a disaster for public education. He signed the most expansive school voucher law in the country, funneling millions in public dollars to private, mostly church-run schools. “He pushed through the most significant increase in charter school funding in years,” according to education reporter Alyson Klein. As a congressman from 2000-2012, Pence voted against the No Child Left Behind Act and as governor of Indiana, he ended Common Core. His was the  first state to do so.

His privatisation policies will meet opposition in many States of America.

For when public goes private what happens ? Diane Ravitch and others have both opinions and evidence on this and the policy is highly controversial in both America and elsewhere. See http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/12/08/when-public-goes-private-as-trump-wants-what happens/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NYR%20Brain%20schools%20Trump&utm_content=NYR%20Brain%20schools%20Trump+CID_5a9edb3a4e7bd8d2015c58b250d54c5b&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_term=When%20Public%20Goes%20Private%20as%20Trump%20Wants%20What%20Happens

Pence and Separation of Religion from the State

Pence is also a disaster for separation of religion and the State. He advocated and signed a so-called religious liberty law that would have permitted discrimination against the gay community and threatened to create widespread business and corporate exits from the state. He reluctantly signed a modification that pleased no one.

 

Pence had been a six-term Congressman noted for his rigid anti-choice positions on abortion and far-right views that were Tea Party before the Tea Party movement began in 2010. He unsuccessfully challenged John Boehner for Republican House leader in 2006.

 

As governor he worked hard to make abortion nearly unavailable, restricting access where possible. “This spring, Pence signed into law one of the strictest abortion laws in the nation. Indiana is now the second state in the nation to ban abortions when the fetus has a disabil-ity, a law likely to be challenged in court,”wrote Amber Phillips in The Washington Post, July 14.

Defeated for Congress in 1988 and 1990, he was elected in 2000 and served six terms before narrowly winning the governorship in 2012.

In Congress, Roll Call said he had “a reputation as a culture warrior that was  unsullied,” opposing federal spending on embryonic stem cell re-search, supported a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and supported a cut-off of federal funding for Planned Parent-hood. (Before his election, he spent the 1990s honing his skills as a

conservative radio talk show host and president of a think tank, the Indiana Policy Review).

 

Pence’s views on religion and politics changed dramatically in the 1980s and 1990s. Raised in an Irish Catholic Democratic family that idolized JFK, Pence cast his first vote for Jimmy Carter in 1980. But he soon drifted to the right in both areas of his life.

Once an observant Catholic and even a youth minister, he turned evangelical Protestant in college and law school and persisted in calling himself an evangelical Catholic until the 1990s when he and his wife officially affiliated with an evangelical church. They now attend an Indianapolis megachurch.

Personal religious change is not uncommon in America, of course, and recent surveys suggest that former Catholics may be the second-largest group in American religious life, though most are unaffiliated rather than evangelical. Pence would be the first ex-Catholic to become

vice president (or a potential president).

This could cause problems in the uneasy relationship between evangelicals and conservative Catholics, but religious change is so wide-spread and accepted that it may prove irrelevant.

The most worrying thing is the appointment of up to three conservative judges to the SUpreme court in the next few years.

 

 

 

 

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