2012 Election | Bobby Jindal | Louisiana | Religion | Republican Party

Louisiana Legislator Was For School Vouchers, Until She Remembered That Muslims Exist

ValarieHodgesAs part of the ongoing, post-Katrina libertarianization of Louisiana, thousands of students will begin the 2012/13 schoolyear in private schools, their tuitions paid by government voucher. Louisiana's finest schools won't offer many spots to voucher kids; most students will be attending obscure institutions, nearly all of them religious. In June, Reuters described some of those schools:

The school willing to accept the most voucher students -- 314 -- is New Living Word in Ruston, which has a top-ranked basketball team but no library. Students spend most of the day watching TVs in bare-bones classrooms. Each lesson consists of an instructional DVD that intersperses Biblical verses with subjects such chemistry or composition.

... At Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake pastor-turned-principal Marie Carrier hopes to secure extra space to enroll 135 voucher students, though she now has room for just a few dozen. Her first- through eighth-grade students sit in cubicles for much of the day and move at their own pace through Christian workbooks, such as a beginning science text that explains "what God made" on each of the six days of creation. They are not exposed to the theory of evolution.

"We try to stay away from all those things that might confuse our children," Carrier said.

Other schools approved for state-funded vouchers use social studies texts warning that liberals threaten global prosperity ...

This is a-okay, according to Republican State Rep. Valarie Hodges. Or would be. Last month, she came to a terrifying realization:

Rep. Valarie Hodges ... says she had no idea that Gov. Boddy Jindal's overhaul of the state's educational system might mean taxpayer support of Muslim schools.

“I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America’s Founding Fathers’ religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools,” the District 64 Representative said Monday.

“I liked the idea of giving parents the option of sending their children to a public school or a Christian school,” Hodges said.

Hodges mistakenly assumed that “religious” meant “Christian.”

What tipped her off? Between the time that the school voucher law, known as "Act 2" (formerly HB976) was put to vote, and the time Louisiana officials set about figuring out how to fund the thing, a Muslim school asked to be made voucher eligible. From the Livingston Parish News:

“Unfortunately it will not be limited to the Founders’ religion,” Hodges said. “We need to insure that it does not open the door to fund radical Islam schools. There are a thousand Muslim schools that have sprung up recently. I do not support using public funds for teaching Islam anywhere here in Louisiana.”

Now, Rep. Hodges is fighting against Act 2. The school board in her district, the Livingston Parish School Board, has joined with 19 other Louisianan boards in a lawsuit challenging Act 2's constitutionality.

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  1. With a name like Jindal, did she not know he must be a secret Muslim sent here to inflitrate the Louisiana government!?! How could such an astute mind as Valarie Hodges miss this?!

    My wish for Louisiana is that Muslims move there in droves to start schools that now must be funded by the government. And that all those kids in these genuis Christian schools find themselves unable to pass the SATs or ACTs and never get into college because of the inferior education they've received.

    This will take down the fundamentalist Christian relig-aduculousness within 10 years.

    Maybe we should have never purchased this area. But then again, then all the inbred ignorant souls would move north.

    Posted by: Bart | Jul 8, 2012 2:30:14 PM

  2. "post-Katrina libertarianization of Louisiana"?? Not sure where that comes from.

    For those that don't know the state well, white parents have been paying for private education for their kids for decades because the public schools are horrific and "for black kids". This merely makes it cheaper for them to do so. Nothing really has changed education-wise, they are just getting a discount now. I suppose more parents than before will take up the option, but it won't matter much. It's another state, too, where piety rather than morality reigns.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 8, 2012 2:35:52 PM

  3. This is great news. These people will fight any cause that can be painted as an Islamist conspiracy. It's been very difficult to block Christianists as long as "liberals" have been the "enemy." Liberals are secularists, and Christianists can fight secularists without undermining their own agenda. But the same Establishment Clause that vexes Christianists also suppresses Islamists. Most any attempt to undermine it on behalf of Christianists will also help Islamists and can be painted as an Islamist ploy, thus giving secularists a wedge against Christianists.

    Posted by: JJ | Jul 8, 2012 2:37:06 PM

  4. Really? Really? Just how dumb to you have to be to be elected in Louisiana?

    Do these people even spend a second thinking through the full implication of their policies?

    Posted by: sosadaboutewan | Jul 8, 2012 2:45:24 PM

  5. People, she's not a stupid Christian. She's a one-woman sleeper cell. I bet she gets a madrassa named after her.

    Posted by: BobN | Jul 8, 2012 2:58:58 PM

  6. homegirl needs a gay man. that hair is ridic

    Posted by: AJ | Jul 8, 2012 3:07:42 PM

  7. Who else are Christians are persecuting against besides gays and Muslims today?

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 8, 2012 4:12:23 PM

  8. Did I miss something? Since when was Christianity the religion of our founding fathers? I was under the impression we were free to practice any if any religion.

    Posted by: Michael | Jul 8, 2012 4:23:36 PM

  9. If fear of aiding Muslim schools is what it takes to kill voucher laws, that is a good thing.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 8, 2012 6:19:28 PM

  10. LOL

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 8, 2012 6:36:45 PM

  11. Louisiana is Ground Zero for the absolute destruction of the American public education system.

    In about 18 years, the fruits of Louisiana's voucher program will come to pass: an entire generation of ignorant people.

    Governor Bobby Jindal is a social degenerate who has been a prime force behind this public voucher program. And he is considered to be presidential material for 2016, when Pres. Obama's second term is finished!

    Louisiana should be ashamed. It isn't but it should. Valarie Hodges is the poster child for the Dumbing Down of America.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jul 8, 2012 7:05:57 PM

  12. Wonder how she is about Jews...

    Increasingly, right wing = stupid in our culture. They are slipping fast and will be a footnote one day.

    Posted by: Rob | Jul 8, 2012 8:12:26 PM

  13. HA! HA! HA!

    I'm temped to go to Luisiana and open my own gay friendly atheist liberal school and make these idiots pay for it. Even better, let me open a school for kids who are not in the country legally.

    HA! HA! HA!

    Posted by: Armando | Jul 8, 2012 11:17:49 PM

  14. This story shows a scary truth that many people do no understand the need for separation of church and state..

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Jul 9, 2012 1:31:23 AM

  15. Typical RWNJ's reactions and wanting to move this country BACKWARDS instead of forward.

    Ignorance is hitting the fools pretty hard, and in the near future, I can't imagine this country being at the top of anything except being left behind.

    Posted by: mmike1969 | Jul 9, 2012 2:16:11 AM

  16. As a Louisianian born and raised, I have to say that the voucher program is totally ridiculous. It is an attempt to fix a problem that is beyond the scope of what schools these kids go to.

    The main reason the educational system here is so poor is because they do not pay the teachers enough. If you offer more pay to teachers, you attract better teachers, the kind who are actually qualified to teach their subject. And better teachers make better schools. A 3rd year teacher in public school will make a bit over $45,000 a year. My 3rd year in private school I made not quite $32,000. Neither of these figures are acceptable.

    Why did I work in the private sector? I didn't have to go through a metal detector or worry about knife fights in the hallways. This is another problem the legislators refuse to address. No one wants to work in an environment of fear.

    Bottom line, vouchers won't work. They will only cover up the bigger issues and produce a generation of children who lack the ability to think critically. I'm saving money for my own island as we speak...

    PS: I went to a private, Catholic high school to avoid all of this crap. I was one of the lucky ones.

    Posted by: Miranda | Jul 9, 2012 2:17:17 AM

  17. Not the fastest skates on the ice, these American "christians", are they?

    Posted by: DeeperStill | Jul 9, 2012 10:32:47 AM

  18. I used to think that these people were just poorly educated...now I believe it to be genetic.

    Posted by: chuck | Jul 9, 2012 1:43:41 PM

  19. Just wait and see how she feels when someone applies to accept vouchers for the Oscar Wilde Elementary School for Gay & Lesbian Youth.

    I hate the voucher system because, at least in Ohio, 95% of the students using vouchers are attending religious backed schools. I don't have a problem supporting education but I do have a problem with my tax money supporting religion.

    Posted by: ThomT | Jul 9, 2012 10:51:26 PM

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