The dysfunctional government-run monopoly known as “public education” in Maine suffered a serious setback on June 21st when the US Supreme Court struck down a state statute that bans families from tuition assistance if they choose to send their children to accredited private schools that teach religion.
In sparsely-populated rural districts without high schools, the state offers a stipend to parents to enroll their children in a high school of their choice. The tuition assistance payments can be used for any type of public or private school, even out of state, or outside the United States.
Except if it’s a religious school.
The 6 to 3 decision held that discrimination based on the religious identity of a school violates the Free Exercise of Religion clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
But rather than engaging in any honest self-assessment, the lawyer representing the public-school monopoly railed against the decision, and began plotting more legislative roadblocks to school choice.
In his public comments after the SCOTUS decision in Carson v. Makin, Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey came across as a sore loser. His attack on the two Christian schools that successfully challenged the Maine statute was breathtaking in its ignorance and arrogance. Frey’s remarks amounted to a declaration of war.
His overt anti-Christian bigotry came across loud and clear, but in his zeal to condemn the plaintiffs as religious fanatics, he inadvertently indicted himself and the state. Here it is:
“The education provided by the schools at issue here is inimical to a public education. They promote a single religion to the exclusion of all others.”
That’s exactly what the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) does, with the able assistance of the office of the Attorney General over the past 30 years. They promote a single religion to the exclusion of all others.
Frey and his fellow left-wing fascists have enshrined a new state religion in K-12 classrooms: Cultural Marxism.
It’s a fact-free, faith-based dogma with its own scripture and sacraments, saints and sinners, heroes and heretics, salvation and damnation. Above all, it is intolerant of dissent.
Cultural Marxism divides all of humanity into just two classes: the oppressed and the oppressors. The oppressed are the BIPOCs (black, indigenous, and people of color) and the entire spectrum of the LGBTQ+ alphabet people.
The oppressors are anyone who’s white – but especially white male heterosexual Christians.
Before the self-loathing Leftists imposed CM as the state religion for K-12 students, they spent several decades dumbing down the curriculum. The objective was to soften up students’ intellects and prepare them for the simple-minded, emotion-based superstition and pseudo-science that the woke cultists embrace.
As far back as 2007, only 36% of Maine 4th graders in public schools were proficient at grade level in reading. The same year, only 38% of 8th graders were proficient at grade level in reading.
Ten years later, in 2017, 4th graders were still stuck at 36% reading proficiency, while 8th graders advanced to a dismal 43%.
This embarrassing data has been scrubbed from the MDOE website. The only reason I have access to it is because I saved the hard copies of reports the swampy non-profit Educate Maine distributed to legislators during my tenure in the Maine House of Representatives.
The introduction of Cultural Marxism into Maine’s K-12 government-run classrooms began in earnest in 1996, when the office of the state Attorney General launched a pilot project in 18 schools. Students were recruited to join so-called “Civil Rights Teams,” ostensibly to think and talk about issues related to “race and skin color, national origin and ancestry, religion, disabilities, gender (including gender identity and expression) and sexual orientation.”
While the AG’s office paid lip service to being all-inclusive, they openly admitted that “we especially want students of color, immigrants, religious minorities, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ students to participate.”
Of course! The Cultural Marxists in the AG’s office want the “oppressed” students keeping a watchful eye on the “oppressor” students.
Today more than 200 Maine schools, public and private, have Civil Rights Teams. These teams are under the direct supervision and control of the AG’s staff of fully woke CM cultists.
Then, beginning just over two years ago, as Black Lives Matter rioters burned and looted America’s big cities, the MDOE website front-loaded teacher training material that can be best described as BLM propaganda condemning America as a systemically racist country.
Promoting the sacred texts of the high priests and priestesses of Cultural Marxism, the Department dropped all pretense of intellectual diversity.
Say hello to Ibram Kendi and Robin DiAngelo; say goodbye to Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele.
Exhibit A: a state-approved video lesson for kindergartners – paid for with federal COVID funding – where the imbecile teacher explains to 5-year-olds that sometimes the doctor makes a mistake in determining whether a newborn baby is a boy or a girl.
My conservative non-profit Maine First Project blew the whistle on this scandal two weeks before it landed on the front pages of Maine’s lamestream daily newspapers. Under pressure from outraged taxpayers, MDOE took that particular video down. But there’s plenty more transgender lunacy where that came from.
I believe Maine’s terminally woke AG is in full-blown denial about what’s in store for his dysfunctional monopoly.
Here’s the demographic nightmare facing him and the other parasites who feed in the K-12 education swamp:
Fewer than one third of Maine households have children enrolled in K-12 government-run schools. Many of the two-thirds majority of households without kids in school are comprised of retirees on fixed incomes.
These Mainers are looking down the barrel of $6+ per gallon home-heating oil, $5+ per gallon gasoline, and skyrocketing grocery prices.
As these retirees become aware that their rising property taxes are paying to brainwash their neighbors’ children and their own grandchildren, does anyone seriously believe they’re going to vote for bigger and bigger school budgets every year?
K-12 enrollment in Maine’s public schools has been in decline for decades, down from 213,569 in 1995 to 173,158 today. While enrollment has been in a free fall, spending goes up by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Bottom line: Maine’s K-12 indoctrination camps are about to be liberated, as students and teachers head for the exits, and taxpayers balk at being flogged and fleeced to pay for educational malpractice.
And that big red wave in November may just hasten the day of reckoning.
Lawrence Lockman of Bradley served four terms in the Maine House of Representatives (2012-2020). He is Co-founder & President of the conservative non-profit Maine First Project. He may be reached at email@example.com.