In the Triangle, we have what you might call policy gangs.
On the left, you have the NC Justice Center, the ACLU,
NC Policy Watch, Institute for Southern Studies, and the AFL-CIO.
On the right you have CIVITAS, Americans for Prosperity,
Americans for Tax Reform, and the John Locke Foundation.
These two "coalitions" fire off salvos
at each other all day long, each pushing their economic
and moral agenda.
Still, it's strange to see all of one side's logos clumped together
on one document. It has an air of Potemkin about it.
The right flank, together with the North Carolina Family
Policy Council and NC Values Coalition have issued
a letter loudly proclaiming their support for expanding
the state's school voucher program by another $8 or $10
In a press release, Donald Bryson, Deputy State Director of Americans
for Prosperity says that "school choice reform is the civil
rights struggle of our day."
But in the letter to the General Assembly, the right flank
is straightforward about what an extension of vouchers are really
about: the free market. "North Carolina has made great strides
in the past year and our citizens are enjoying the fruits of the free market
now more than ever."
There is the sense from the letter that the right flank's enthusiasm for
vouchers has nothing to do with kids getting a better education or civil
rights at all: rather, vouchers fit into a libertarian economic vision,
where the ideal schools are those without regulation, and where
education can exist as a pure marketplace.