Santorum: Too Kool for Skool

Santorum Dunce

Rick Santorum believes Obama wants to ‘indoctrinate’ students by encouraging higher college enrollment. The GOP hopeful sat down with Glenn Beck for a wide-ranging interview that aired Thursday, and he warned that higher education leads to secularization.

“I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college, because of their indoctrination mills, absolutely,” he said. “The indoctrination that is going on at the university level is a harm to our country. Source” See also: Santorum flunks the history of home-schooling

It appears that Santorum had no objection to bilking Pennsylvania for $72,000 in online tuition fees when his children did not actually even live in the state. In other words, the Santorums presented themselves to the world as home-schoolers for at least three years, while Pennsylvania taxpayers picked up the bill for their kids’ education — and they actually lived in a different state.

As various media outlets from Mother Jones to the Washington Post have reminded us in recent weeks, Santorum’s record as a home-schooler is ambiguous at the very least, and arguably hypocritical. From 2001 through at least 2004, when Santorum was serving in the Senate and living full-time in Loudoun County, Va., five of his children were enrolled in an online charter school based in Pennsylvania — a public school, albeit an unusual one — with computers, curricula and other educational services provided at taxpayer expense. According to the Penn Hills Progress, a newspaper in Santorum’s suburban Pittsburgh hometown that broke the story at the time, the local school district had spent approximately $100,000 educating the senator’s so-called home-schooled children, although they lived neither in the district nor in the state.

Santorum owned a modest three-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot house in Penn Hills (and reportedly still does), on which he paid about $2,000 a year in taxes. But owning a home is not sufficient to prove residency, and public records, neighborhood testimony and common sense all suggest that Santorum’s constantly enlarging family — his kids now range from age 3 to age 20 — never actually lived there. (At the time of the Penn Hills Progress investigation, Santorum’s wife’s niece and her husband were registered to vote at that address.) Appearing to live in Pennsylvania was distinctly advantageous for the Santorums, because state law required school districts to pay 80 percent of the online charter-school tuition for local families who chose it. (No such law pertained in Virginia.) The Penn Hills district challenged Santorum’s local residency, and the ensuing dispute only ended when the senator withdrew his kids from the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. Since 2006 the Santorum kids have reportedly been registered as Virginia home-schoolers. Source

Marcie Lucci is one of several Penn Hills residents upset her taxes are paying for U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum‘s children to attend a cyber charter school.

The Republican senator owns a home in Penn Hills, but lives in Leesburg, Va.

Penn Hills School District is paying $38,000 this year for five Santorum children to attend Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School based in Midland, Beaver County. The district has paid an additional $62,000 for his children to attend the school since 2001. Source

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