Saturday, February 26, 2005

Who Decides Which Private School Should Get Public Tax Money?

A recent post under Comments raised an excellent point.

Who should decide which private organizations should get public tax dollars?

Read this entire article carefully and you will see an extreme example of a private K-12 school on American soil with an anti-American curriculum and an anti-American agenda. The author is a respected writer in conservative circles.

Why do we bring this extreme example up? Blurring the lines between public and private organizations has complications. There is no evidence that this situation involved public tax dollars. But, blundering into this naively, blinded by the idea that the market-oriented business approach is the best strategy for everything is pretty short sighted in my opinion. Assuming that every private school getting a tax voucher is going to look like the good private schools we see now seems a little myopic. Who will oversee this when a renegade private school uses public tax dollars in such extreme examples? We can't even screen passengers appropriately at the airport without being afraid of the ACLU! Who is going to make sure that public tax dollars aren't used to our own downfall by these type of private schools? You think there are a lot of private schools now? Wait till "the public money follows the child" right into the private pockets of every group with their own agenda.

I for one, advocate for public school choice. I think educators should welcome this with open arms. It is true that when consumers make their own choices they will take more ownership in it and support it to a higher degree. I won't argue that point. Let them choose their public schools. But the whole private/public thing bothers me.


At Monday, February 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right, there is a risk that some of the 52,000,000 U.S. K-12 students might have parents that send them to an extreme or bad school.

Conceivably those kids could number in the...HUNDREDS, even THOUSANDS.

If that many children might be "at risk" of bad parental choice, by all means we need to keep all of the children in the public education monopoly.

Vouchers to private schools should certainly be ruled out for the remaining 51,998,000 children that might want free choice.

Thank you for saving America's children from the terrible dangers that freedom might bring.

At Monday, February 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious about where "anonymous" lives. Everywhere I have lived, I have had choices as to where my children went to school. As a matter of fact, my children have been in both public and private schools both in K-12 and in higher education. I have had family members employed by both public and private schools. At no time did I feel that my choices were restricted by anyone but myself.

I was not aware that any of my children were required by law to attend any particular school. I'm sure the previous poster will illuminate us on the existence of that law.

One freedom that I do enjoy is the freedom to choose which private religious/charitable organizations receive my money. I find it difficult to understand how my freedom is enhanced if someone else can choose to have my money sent to the religious/charitable organization that they choose to support.

I also have friends who have sent their children to private religious schools simply because they wanted the spiritual component added to their child's educational experience. That is a laudable decision and one that I support. I just don't know why I should be forced to pay for it with my tax dollars.

Of course now that I think about it a little bit, if they made vouchers retroactive, I could probably come up with some old tuition statements that maybe I could get someone to subsidize.

This free choice thing is beginning to make sense now that I understand the possibilities.

At Monday, February 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous poster. You DO NOT want freedom of choice in the American education system – unless your kid is some kind of damn genius.

Look-- there are a finite number of freshmen slots at top universities and an even more limited number of high paying jobs when they graduate. Think about YOUR OWN CHILD for a second – like the previous poster encourages.

That fact that people on this Blog can blather on about “freedom of choice” and “vouchers” means they ain’t living in no double wide working two minimum wage jobs to pay the bills.

They can BUY their kids an EDGE in today’s educational system – move to a better neighborhood, send them to private school, hire tutors, etc. The only “laws” preventing that are the laws of economics. Don’t have the money - you take what you’re given.

Listen; if every intelligent, talented, driven kid with concerned parents could freely go to the best schools – whether public or private – you know what you’d get? – a DARWINIAN educational system where motivated, smart people get all of the best opportunities.

Some of the best students would go to the top private schools (taking your kid’s place). Others might go to one of the many religious schools that offer an outstanding education AND teach moral values. For god sakes you DON’T want that – are you nuts?!?

In every poorly performing school that are lots of smart, motivated kids desperate to get out and get a great education – oh and take your kid’s acceptance letter from Duke University, BY THE WAY.

Listen, you have an edge, a way for your average kid to get the best – just like the previous poster said “my children were not required by law to attend any particular school.”

Face it, every parent wants the best for THEIR child, it’s just that YOU don’t the best for their child. Hundred of thousands of bright, capable poor kids are trapped in the monolithic American education system right now. Let’s keep it that way, OK?

So remember the following -

1- the current monopoly school system is your friend – bloated, bureaucratic, and broke
2- The Teacher’s Union and politicians will keep it that way if you will stop complaining
3- Your MANTRA should be -- “I do not want my tax money going to support religious/charitable organizations not of my choosing” – practice this mantra and parrot it at every opportunity.

Hey…life is unfair – but not at our level.

At Saturday, March 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry I haven't posted for a couple of days. I had to take another job to make the payments on my double wide. For future reference, the correct terminology is "manufatured housing." Although I suppose conversations like this are about as close as most Dukies get to manufactured housing (unless you happened to work for Conseco, then you have a pretty good idea what manufactured housing is.)

Anyway, what exactly was that law that is preventing all those talented driven kids with concerned parents from attending whatever school they choose? I was hoping someone would enlighten me.

This is important to me because the same law would probably make it illegal for concerned parents to homeschool their intelligent, talented, driven kids. I just want to warn my friends who homeschool before they get busted.

At Friday, March 11, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess there is no law preventing parents from sending their children to the school of their choice in Indiana. My bad. Problem's all solved. Never mind.

Oh wait...if you're poor this may be a little problem. But hey, we ALL know poor parents don't care about their kid's education. If they did, then they would stop being poor and move to Carmel.

Again, life is unfair, but not for people at our income level.


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