Only U.S. citizens and green card holders should benefit from or participate in any new state grant for K-12 private school tuition
School choice is an idea worthy of serious consideration. Including illegal aliens in any part of a new state grant isn’t.
The GOP-controlled state senate recently passed SB 233, a deeply flawed bill titled “The Georgia Promise Scholarship Act” – otherwise known as “school choice” and “educational freedom.” See also “putting parents in charge.”
Watching the rush to passage and the obfuscation of the senate Republicans to push the odiferous measure through reminded this writer of the scenario surrounding immigration legislation in Washington D.C. a decade ago.
During the successful struggle in 2013 to stop that year’s attempt at amnesty for illegal aliens, then Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions described the “immigration reform” legislation as “a mackerel in the sun.” He pointed out that the bill was meant to be passed into law before too many people had read it and before too many facts were provided to the American public.
Sessions advised inspection and comprehension of the contents of the most horrible measure. He knew that the light of day would expose the truth about the “Gang of Eight” amnesty.
“The longer it lays in the sun, the more it smells, as they say about the mackerel” is how Sessions described his reason for the roadblocks he put in front of passage to the New York Times. The amnesty bill failed in the U.S. House because of too much information. Former U.S. Attorney General Sessions is a personal hero here.
The “school choice” bill that the senate passed was dropped into the senate hopper on February 22 and passed just five legislative days later on the senate floor. That unfamiliar odor you may be smelling could well be coming from Atlanta and the stench of this Republican-concocted “school choice” legislation after only a week of being out in the open.
- Related: We warned and informed GOP senators on the immigration-related problems in the bill well before they voted
The contents of SB 233 create a new state grant for families of K-12 students to use to pay for private school education and other expenses as an alternative to public school education.
The bill contains language that allows students attending private school at taxpayer expense to be formerly “inadmissible aliens” who have been illegally granted mass “parole” by the Biden administration. That scam was found to be unlawful last week by a federal court in Florida.
Parole, even when it is done legally, does not confer lawful border entry status. Legal immigrants do not need parole.
Related: A retired INS agent on SB 233 in the Brunswick News
Amazing, but true: the “school choice” bill (SB233) does not exclude illegal alien parents from the administration process. Processing of state benefits to eligible families begins only when “parents” file an application to begin the $6000 annual proposed new grant payments for K-12 students to attend private school.
“Parents” includes a “legal guardian, custodian, or other person with legal authority to act on behalf of the student.” The bill authorizes “parents” to be part of an oversight committee that has authority to decide on eligible expenses in the use of state funds. “Parents” can be paid for unforeseen out-of-pocket expenses.
Again: There is nothing in the bill that says “parents” must be in the U.S. lawfully.
Lead sponsor on SB 233 is Sen. Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming). Dolezal did not mention anything regarding illegal immigration when he presented the bill. Floor debate did not include any discussion of the state’s illegal immigration crisis.
The bill was intentionally rushed through the committee process while this writer was refused an opportunity to speak during the much-abbreviated public comment period. Because I was the first person to sign up to speak on the bill, the committee chairman of the senate Education and Youth committee, Republican Sen. Clint Dixon (Buford), began selection of speakers from the bottom of the list. He ended the comment period when he worked back up the list to my name. That cheap and cowardly abuse of power is on official archived video record.
As if to prove they have forgotten that real conservatives don’t do anything that rewards or encourages illegal immigration into Georgia, every Republican senator voted in favor of final passage.
With the troubling bill now in the House, conservative Representatives should withhold action until next year so there is time to understand it and make an educated decision on their own vote. Idea: Only U.S. citizens and green card holders should be eligible for the proposed “Promise Scholarship.”
Pro-borders voters should step in and do for the Georgia senate’s “school choice” bill what Jeff Sessions did to the failed 2013 amnesty try. Contact your state Rep and tell them to ask the Speaker to wait until next year to consider “school choice.’
Let this anti-enforcement mackerel sit in the sun over the summer.
A version of this essay is publish in the March 12 edition of The Islander newspaper in Glynn County. GA. and on the subscription website Insider Advantage Georgia on March 15, 2023.