Civitas FOR ‘redistributional welfare’ ?

That’s what our friends from Moore Tea Citizens say

The NCGA just created a new welfare program and Bob Luebke is promoting it on the Civitas Website. The program uses the NC tax system to take money from North Carolinians with their own financial struggles and family heartache, and gives it to the selected group of families with “special needs.”

From the program’s online brochure:

The parent or legal guardian is provided a bank account to hold scholarship funds for an eligible student to be used for qualifying education expenses. Recipients will receive quarterly deposits for a total not to exceed $9,000 per year. ?

Civitas’ public mission statement: “The Civitas Institute fights to remove barriers to freedom so that all North Carolinians can enjoy a better life,” so it seems Civitas has adopted the Progressive definition of “freedom.”
Let’s see:  (1) The state “provides” a bank account. (2) Said account is filled with other people’s money.
Hmmm.  Maybe there’s a point here.  (Maybe this is all about paving the way for the coming McCrory era.) 

My friends at Moore Tea Citizens Blog are calling me out.  The headline reads “Civitas Is Now supporting Redistributional Welfare.”  Moore Tea opposes Civitas’ support for Personal Education Savings Accounts (PESA).  The blog read: “the program [ Personal Education Savings Accounts] uses the NC tax system to take money from the North Carolinians with their own financial struggles and family heartache and gives it to the selected group of families with ‘special needs.’ ”

Redistributional welfare?  Not a chance. Moore Tea bloggers seem to forget that the North Carolina State Constitution (Article IX) lays out the state’s obligation to provide a free and uniform system of public education for all students. The statement is clear. How education is to be financed and delivered are the only real questions and the legislature has say over how those are answered.

North Carolina currently spends over $9 billion on K-12 public education.  While there are many good public schools, we know that many fail to offer children access to a quality education. Growing dissatisfaction has fueled a parental choice movement and birthed educational options such as charter schools, the Opportunity Scholarship program, Special Needs Scholarship and most recently, the Personal Education Savings Accounts.

These programs fufill the state’s mandate educate all students. They also offer parents the chance to determine how and where their child attends school.  As parents make that choice, the schools are ultimately accountable to the parents – the best kind of accountability. Moreover, the cost of educating a child at many parental choice programs is less than the costs of education at traditional public schools.

We should applaud lawmakers for approving the Personal Education Savings Account program and offering parents another educational option.  PESA offers parents an innovative way to provide their special needs son or daughter access to a quality education, an option that was previously unavailable for parents in many schools because of lack of resources, staff or training.

It is important to note that the PESA program is largely targeted on students who are already in the public schools. PESA offers those children, an opportunity at a better education.  This is a key difference  between parental choice and welfare programs.  Welfare programs are redistributive. Money is taken from those who have and given to the have-nots. Parental choice programs give parents choices on where they can send their child for a better education.  However, the money will be spent regardless of where the parents decide to send the child to school.

North Carolina has a constitutional obligation to educate all children. The parental choice movement has expanded how that obligation is met by offering parents other educational alternatives.

Is PESA redistributional welfare?  If you still think so, you a need better understanding of our State Constitution and the promise of parental choice.

Wow.  It would have been nice to see them punch back like this when Bert & Ernie came after them. 

6 comments for “Civitas FOR ‘redistributional welfare’ ?

  1. November 11, 2017 at 8:41 am


    Please stop writing about education issues.

    Educational Savings Accounts and related programs are not “redistributional welfare”.

    • seaweaver
      November 12, 2017 at 8:45 am

      “……The parent or legal guardian is provided a bank account to hold scholarship funds for an eligible student”

      sounds like “not all” students. If so, that is selective.

      “….North Carolina State Constitution (Article IX) lays out the state’s obligation to provide a free and uniform system of public education for all students. The statement is clear.”

      All, means all…. I thought. Seems clear.
      Personal saving accts are great…. so long as the indv is making deposits.
      Soo, no having read the plan…. is there criteria that parents must meet to participate and receive this found money?
      or does all not mean all?

  2. November 11, 2017 at 8:42 am

    My, oh my. I do think Civitas is drinking the progressive koolaid. The Civitas response is the best example of misleading dishonest doublespeak using re-interpreted language and re-defined terms that I’ve seen lately.

  3. Paul W.
    November 11, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Haymaker sounds more like Nancy Pelosi when saying “Said account is filled with other people’s money.” Really? It is actually filled with the money those parents paid into the tax base. OPM? No, it was their money, to begin with, compelled to pay into the system with the full weight and force of the government. So when did this blog start using Rachel Maddow’s talking points?

    Why should those parents and children be held hostage to a mega-bureaucracy? Because the vast majority of those parents pay taxes too. Most of them would rather not pay into a system that actually works against the best interests of their child.

    In this article, Haymaker sounds like they are advocating for larger government by forcing the school system to grow to meet the needs of these kids (which, by law, they are required to do). But that is not the way the real world works. Some kids need help that cannot be found in the public sector and many of these specialists would never work with the public sector. That is the reality.

    Imagine how incredibly bad it is for children who have a mental disability, or lack the mental capacity to discern the massive progressive educational “children of the collective” push for social activism, transgender norming, hate for Republicans, violence against conservatives that is taking place in schools.

    Haymaker is now misplacing blame for terrible educational policies by NCGA & US Dept of Education and seems to be placed on the parents of those children who are trying to find options for their children.

    Somebody call Keith Olberman and book the DHM for the show.

    • November 12, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Seems the Moore Cty. Tea Party people have an excellent point.
      I have been a long supporter of Civitas however Bob Luebke is on the wrong side of this issue!!!
      We in N.C. have a GREAT program for parental Choice in the public Schools (scholarship Program)i still refer to as the VOUCHER Program,problem it is underfunded,Legislature must remove the income cap to permit ALL to have Choice for their children.
      Ron Margiotta—Wake County.

    • Doug
      November 13, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      Yes, they paid into the account….but so did you and I did too. Unless you are saying that these parents have only paid State taxes to fund this specific item and not sharing the costs of things like roads and law enforcement…because I can guarantee you very few in numbers pay in $9,000 or more in state taxes.

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