CNN Criticizes Trump-Allied Christian School In Attack On School Choice

On Friday morning, CNN News Central released an investigative report on the Arizona school system, scrutinizing the effects of school choice. Instead of addressing the flaws of the public school system, correspondent René Marsh concentrated on religious and Trump-affiliated groups, alleging a “civil rights issue” stemming from their adherence to Biblical ethics.

The focus of the investigation was Dream City Christian School, affiliated with the pro-Trump organization Turning Point USA. The school’s website highlights a far-right Christian perspective, pledging to combat what it describes as morally bankrupt and liberal ideologies, including critical race theory, evolutionism, and gender identification. Like many private schools in the U.S., Dream City Christian School receives partial funding from taxpayer dollars, allowing students to use state money for private education.

Marsh reported:

“A CNN investigation found Dream City Christian received more taxpayer money than 95% of the private schools in the state voucher program. A total of $1.3 million last year, according to data CNN obtained. That’s despite anti-LGBTQ mandates in the parent handbook stating faculty must believe and parents must agree to their children being taught that homosexual behavior is sinful and offensive to God and rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God.”

Marsh interviewed individuals opposing the legislation, including a professor who labeled it “a civil rights issue” that a Christian school teaching Christian ethics receives taxpayer money. Concerns were also raised about the future of the public school system. However, the report failed to address the persistent problems within the public school system and how school choice offers Arizonans greater educational opportunities. According to the Daily Signal, Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) Program has significantly benefited the state, with a nation-leading rate of growth for low-income students.

Marsh overlooked the evidence supporting the benefits of school choice. Arizona has demonstrated the value of its ESA Program, which allows parents to choose schools that best fit their children’s needs, regardless of religious or political affiliations. This flexibility is at the heart of Marsh’s objections.

As school choice gains momentum across the country, more parents are growing dissatisfied with the current public education system and its perceived liberal agenda. If public schools do not address these concerns, stories like Marsh’s may not be enough to halt the shift towards alternative educational options, including Christian schools funded by government vouchers.