Would voucher proponents support public tax dollars going to a school founded on atheism?

When pro vouchers lawmakers in the Georgia Legislature talk about using public money to send children to private religious schools, they are usually envisioning Christian institutions.

But what if parents took taxpayer dollars and enrolled their children in a school that advocated anti-American or anti-Christian beliefs?

What if a cult leader decided to create a school – a David Koresh type  – and have his followers use public money in the form of vouchers to fund it. That would be legal under the voucher philosophy that parents can use their taxpayer-funded vouchers to send their children to the school of their choice.

Here is a story out of England that raises a very interesting scenario  — public money for a school that would disdain organized religion. Would lawmakers here defend such schools? Would the public embrace vouchers if the money went to schools that taught ideas outside mainstream Georgia?

I doubt it. I think the outcry at the Capitol would be loud enough to be heard in Valdosta and Dalton.

This piece in the Telegraph touches on these questions:

Richard Dawkins has said he is interested in setting up an atheist “free school” under the Government’s plan to encourage independent education establishments.

The author of “The God Delusion,” who has previously described religious education provided by faith schools as a form of child abuse, said he would want pupils to be taught to be skeptical and to appreciate the value of evidence rather than receive “indoctrination” about atheism.

He also said that his “free-thinking school” would provide lessons about the gods of ancient Greece and Norse legend, and would treat the Bible as a work of literature rather than a basis for morality.

The former Oxford University professor and evolutionary biologist, now a bestselling author who has called for the Pope to be arrested for “crimes against humanity” during his visit to Britain, made his comments during a webchat with users of Mumsnet.

Prof Dawkins was asked to set up a “secular school” or an “atheist free school” as an antidote to faith schools by women who believe they are divisive and anti-scientific.

Under plans disclosed by the Coalition last week, parents, charities and voluntary groups will be able to set up “free schools” funded by public money but independent from state control.

He replied: “Thank you for suggesting that I should start an atheist free school. I like the idea very much, although I would prefer to call it a free-thinking free school.

“I would never want to indoctrinate children in atheism, any more than in religion. Instead, children should be taught to ask for evidence, to be sceptical, critical, open-minded.

“If children understand that beliefs should be substantiated with evidence, as opposed to tradition, authority, revelation or faith, they will automatically work out for themselves that they are atheists.

“I would also teach comparative religion, and teach it properly without any bias towards particular religions, and including historically important but dead religions, such as those of ancient Greece and the Norse gods, if only because these, like the Abrahamic scriptures, are important for understanding English literature and European history.”

In reply to another questioner, Prof Dawkins said: “The Bible should be taught, but emphatically not as reality. It is fiction, myth, poetry, anything but reality. As such it needs to be taught because it underlies so much of our literature and our culture.”

Under current rules, all schools are supposed to provide “collective worship” each day, usually in assemblies, although parents can withdraw children. Schools also have to teach religious education under the National Curriculum, but “free schools” would likely be exempt from this.

87 comments Add your comment

bootney farnsworth

June 24th, 2010
1:15 pm

if vouchers are ever approved, then they should be utilized as the parents wish.

Stop vouchers!

June 24th, 2010
1:19 pm

This is a very legitimate fear voucher supporters won’t talk about.

What about the Facebook page “I want a private school founded on the teachings of David Koresh” that currently has Twenty seven million, six hundred twenty seven thousand, two hundred and eighty nine followers.

Vouchers would not only destroy American education, they would destroy America itself, leading to the forming of Koreshland.

Good Americans need to unite to stop this irresponsible talk of vouchers.

We don’t need vouchers, we just need better teachers with better training.

ConcernedFultonMom

June 24th, 2010
1:30 pm

What I find interesting about the voucher idea is that in a place like metro Atlanta, none of the truly strong independent school’s have tuitions under $12,000.

So, if a family receives a voucher of say, $5,000 – and the school’s tuition and related fees total $19,000 – exactly what is that family going to do? Riiiiiight

Another thought…what if the voucher system is put into place…just how many “slots” do parents think are going to be legitimately open to them at said private schools? Even without vouchers – many private schools have a limited number of slots…busting the door open with parents with vouchers wouldn’t really help in that regard. A lot of the private school already have very stringent admissions criteria and I would imagine that would grow even more stringent.

It’ll be a big carrots to the fly-by-night schools that will pop up out of nowhere…oh, wait, that’s already happening WITHOUT vouchers…

@ConcernedFultonMom

June 24th, 2010
1:37 pm

CFM, the tuition you reference is what is in place under the CURRENT system. Who’s to say if we did have voucher we wouldn’t have schools open that would promise a better education for $5,000 that parents would feel more comfortable sending their child to?

If the free market is any indication, it would be almost guaranteed to happen. And if the free market is any indication, there would be schools that would be much worse, but at least parents would have a CHOICE other than to move, which is the only realistic choice available now.

Mac

June 24th, 2010
1:39 pm

I have always wondered about things like the Gideons making bibles available to 5th grade students at school. What would the reaction be if the church of satan or some such ever wants to make their ‘bible’ available to 5th graders at school? The precedent is already set to allow it.

Chris

June 24th, 2010
1:44 pm

I’m for vouchers and I don’t have a problem with vouchers being used for anti-Christian schools, even though I am a Christian. The state of public education (at least in Georgia) is so bad now, I see vouchers as a reasonable alternative to parents who are looking for something better than their local school. I live in Atlanta and I can’t afford to live in Buckhead where most of the higher performing schools are located, but I still value quality education.

Why do people always assume that the schools that will sprout up to support vouchers will be bad? Right now, the SB10 scholarships/vouchers are only used at schools that meet specific criteria. The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta is a new school that seems to be doing well. They just graduated their first group of 8th graders and many of them will be attending private schools.

ScienceTeacher671

June 24th, 2010
1:46 pm

What about madrasas? Would it be okay to fund those with tax dollars and vouchers?

Actually my personal objections to vouchers fall along the same lines as those expressed by ConcernedFultonMom.

EnoughAlready

June 24th, 2010
1:48 pm

They would have an absolute meltdown before they would fund a school ran by atheist, muslims, anti-christians or anti-americanism.

ConcernedFultonMom

June 24th, 2010
1:30 pm

You are 100%…. the only thing they are doing with vouchers is transfering the problems to the private schools. They would have some of the same and probably more problems than the public school systems. Can you imagine what would happen if someone used a voucher at a Christian private school only to have little Johnny kicked out due to immoral behavior or conduct? Evenmore, immoral conduct of the parents?

Maybe

June 24th, 2010
1:52 pm

Maybe enoughalready, if vouchers were available, if the child was kicked out of enough schools, parent would eventually send their child to a school whose focus was dealing with discipline problems.

Think society might benefit from that? Or do you prefer the way the public schools are dealing with it?

Simon Jester

June 24th, 2010
1:55 pm

One of the best things that could happen to America is the destruction and end of “Public” Government Schools. These schools are used to condition children from an early age to be good little government & corporate drones. Want more info? Read here: http://www.spinninglobe.net/againstschool.htm

Government should not be involved in education at any level.

catlady

June 24th, 2010
2:06 pm

The answer to that question, the HONEST answer, would be H3LL no! There would, of course, be “qualifying criteria” for schools that would be “acceptable.” And we can guess which schools would not be able to qualify.

Stop vouchers: we just need a better class of student!

Actually, I would support vouchers if public school teachers could choose who would get them. Heck, I might even make a donation. THEN, let the parents of these darlings find a school that would take them and KEEP them!

In our area, we have only 2 private schools which serve a total of less than 60 kids. One of them might be willing to participate (ie, sell their soul to the government devil); I am sure the other would not.

Increasingly, I feel more positive toward the idea of private school vouchers, IF the participating schools have to provide the same access (serve all comers) and retention rules (cannot kick them out any easier than public schools can) and IF the parents have to “live” with their choice for the entire year (no flip-flopping when they get mad.)

Ms. Downey, have you heard anything about an evaluative report on the special needs voucher program for the past school year? Also, what has happened with that multi-county charter school in S. Ga?

Hmmm....

June 24th, 2010
2:25 pm

I think cat and enough have brought up some interesting points.

What if the child was kicked out due to parental conduct?

We all know the major contributors to these private schools would not let the school open up to all comers; why did they start the private school to begin with. To get away from the common folk and minorities. Fly by night schools would pop up take the check from parents and boom gone. Think Bernie Madoff as the head of a private school.

HS Teacher

June 24th, 2010
2:35 pm

@Maureen – Why do you continue to put vouchers on the ‘front and center’? Why must you be a proponent of keeping this conversation going?

Vouchers have been PROVEN to be a failure (see the State of FL).

The only people in GA that want vouchers are the parents that already send their kids to private school (by choice) and simply want public tax dollars to go into their pockets. Sorry, but it will not happen in GA no matter what you republicans want!

Chris

June 24th, 2010
2:39 pm

Look at it this way. Vouchers are implemented. Some private schools take them (they still abide by their own rules for the most part, like they do now with the special needs vouchers). Other schools are created for all the other students that can’t afford the more expensive schools. Little Johnny is enrolled at School A, but he doesn’t know how to act, so they put him out. Parents find a new school for Little Johnny. Soon, he’s put out again. Eventually, the parents will either a) teach Little Johnny how to act or b) find a boot camp school for Little Johnny to go to. As these others schools are created, they will find their niche for certain kids. Schools would become specialized to handle certain students as the needs arise. This is not that different from the magnet school concept.

HS Teacher

June 24th, 2010
2:40 pm

@Maybe – In your hypothetical case, you are still using those “voucher” schools to parent that child. What would be the difference compared to today?

To solve a problem, you must address the core issue: bad parenting. Although I am against the voucher system, I would be all for a law to force all people to learn HOW to parent. By this, I don’t mean how to change diapers, but rather how to raise children with proper discipline techniques, how to escalate the techniques to different levels as needed, where to go to get help if needed, how to communicate expectations to children of different ages, etc.

HS Teacher

June 24th, 2010
2:41 pm

@Maureen – I continue to get filtered for no obvious reason. Help?

HS Teacher

June 24th, 2010
2:42 pm

@Maybe and Chris – In your hypothetical case, you are still using those “voucher” schools to parent that child. What would be the difference compared to today?

To solve a problem, you must address the core issue: bad parenting. Although I am against the voucher system, I would be all for a law to force all people to learn HOW to parent. By this, I don’t mean how to change diapers, but rather how to raise children with proper discipline techniques, how to escalate the techniques to different levels as needed, where to go to get help if needed, how to communicate expectations to children of different ages, etc.

Chris

June 24th, 2010
2:54 pm

HS Teacher, I agree with you on the core issue being bad parenting. Unfortunately, that is out of the control of the school. Schools cannot force good parenting; however, they COULD and SHOULD be allowed to have rules that circumvent the effects of bad parenting on the classroom. I think it’s ridiculous that more poorly behaved students are not being put out of school. And the lack of consequences has led to even more parents lowering the priority of correcting their children’s behavior. There are no consequences for students or parents. Therefore, why do schools keep expecting student and parent behavior to change? This is not rocket science.

You Asked

June 24th, 2010
2:59 pm

YES- anything less than letting parents use vouchers for ANY school of their choice is “freedom for me and not for thee.”

If abusive treatment is going on in a school or religious institution there are other laws and statutes to protect kids. Bringing up the spectre of an abusive cult run on government money is a red herring.

You Asked

June 24th, 2010
3:06 pm

HS Teacher – I agree that parenting is critical to a child’s success in school and life. However the schools have taken on too much of a parenting role in many cases. Loco Parentis is being abused by administrators who’s idea of a well run school infringes on some fundamental civil rights of students. My son did a report for government class on supreme court cases about this issue. His teacher said it was great but he’d be crazy to show it to the administration in his school.

Decisions about what kinds of bags can be carried, if a child can have a cell phone in their posession, if an Eagle Scout can keep woods tools locked in his car, what kind of toy bracelet can be worn, etc. are all beyond the scope of a schools authority as long as they are not causing a distraction to other students (i.e. not being played with or used during class). That doesn’t stop administrators from trying to overregulate kids regarding decisions their parents are capable of making.

Teachers and administrators can’t have it both ways. Either they recognize the student and parent rights or take the blame for failing institutions and students.

Maybe

June 24th, 2010
3:07 pm

@Maybe – In your hypothetical case, you are still using those “voucher” schools to parent that child. What would be the difference compared to today?

The difference HS Teacher is that the rest of the kids get to learn free and unencumbered by chronically disruptive children who are destroying the integrity of the learning environment.

The other difference, is that the public school bureaucracy would lose a grip on its power. And isn’t that what it’s really about for them; preserving their power?

ConcernedFultonMom

June 24th, 2010
3:07 pm

@CFM – honestly, I don’t see a huge overhaul of the education system here in GA any time soon…

and I think the free market is already at work here in metro Atlanta. I’ve seen lots of charter and tuition-based schools pop up. And I agree, it’s market driven because a lot of parents are making their displeasure with public school heard. HOWEVER, that being said…a lot of the schools tout academic standards and other bells and whistles that sound good…but really, a lot of them haven’t been around long enough for anyone to really critique their education strategy

@Chris
Ron Clark Academy is doing good. They too have a stringent admissions process! They’ve also got the benefit of a charismatic leader/advocate/fundraiser with ties to Oprah – that goes a LOOOONG way! Kudos to him and his students!

HS Teacher

June 24th, 2010
3:09 pm

@Chris – Then how about a State law to solve our problem that doesn’t open the door to vouchers? There is already a law that requires public schooling through a specific grade level. How about another law that gives a school the ability to kick out the student based on behavior issues AND requires the parent to then either home school or spend the money to private school? This does not allow the parent to try to re-enroll their kid into another public school.

I like the idea of this type of law. It puts bite into requiring well behaved kids. If mama SallyMae knows that she will have to home school her brat if they get kicked out, maybe she will teach her brat how to behave!

EnoughAlready

June 24th, 2010
3:13 pm

There are definitely a lot of bad parents; however, many on this blog fail to recognize that we also have a slew of bad teachers and administrators to boot.

The one thing about private school is that it’s easy to get rid of bad teachers and students. The teacher can always find a new occupation; but a bad student only becomes a burden on the taxpayers.

Bad students need to be educated at all cost; the end result of not educating these students is still going to be at taxpayer expense. If you don’t believe me, check the local prison systems.

You Asked

June 24th, 2010
3:14 pm

Problem is mama SallyMae isn’t going to home school her kid. She’s going to continue to let the kid disrupt whatever environment he/she is in.

HS Teacher

June 24th, 2010
3:15 pm

@ConcernedFultonMom – Please be careful giving Ron Clark Academy too many props! Most any school would be considered successful given those circumstances. However, public schools are required by law to:

1. accept any student at all living within their geographic area
2. requires students to continue to attend even when that student fails everything and has shown no interest in improving or learning
3. allows any student to attend high school up to the age of 21 even if they fail everything and have no interest in learning
4. requires an exhaustive process of disciplinary action with multiple steps which allows for bad behavior to continue and be detrimental to the classroom

If Ron Clark Academy operated within the same parameters as a public high school is required to, THEN I would be impressed.

HS Teacher

June 24th, 2010
3:18 pm

@EnoughAlready – No one has denyed that there are poor teachers and administrators. Why would you jump to that conclusion?

Why must bad students be educated at all cost? That perception is illogical to me. An education should be a priviledge – one which is valued by the student. If the student does not value it, then why should we spend time and money to figure out how to force it on them?

And, breaking the law should not be an option. That is just an excuse.

There are many lower paying jobs available for those drop outs that are currently being taken by the illegal immigration population. Those “bad” students need to just realize that their choice is to either get an education, or become a farm employee.

irisheyes

June 24th, 2010
3:19 pm

I just finished reading “How to be Evangelical without being Conservative” (yes, I know it should be underlined, but don’t have that capability), and it makes just that point. Vouchers are a big deal to the Religious Right, but they don’t follow the thought to its logical conclusion. It’s the same thing with having school sponsored prayer. How many of those parents would want their child to begin the day with a Mormon prayer, or a Jewish one, or a Muslim one? (I personally think the moment of silence we have right now is ridiculous.)

But the not so big secret of many in the Religious Right is that Christianity becomes the law of the land. Too bad for you if you believe something else.

HS Teacher

June 24th, 2010
3:20 pm

@You Asked

If mamaSallyMae doesn’t educate her kid through home schooling or private school, then SHE is breaking the law and should pay the consequences. Then her brat can be placed somewhere they WOULD learn how to behave.

Problem solved.

irisheyes

June 24th, 2010
3:20 pm

Maureen, I’m trapped! :)

ConcernedFultonMom

June 24th, 2010
3:20 pm

@you asked…so true, and so sad.

HS Teacher

June 24th, 2010
3:21 pm

@You Asked

It is called making the parent accountable!

Parental Choice

June 24th, 2010
3:25 pm

If a parent elected to send their child to a “free thinking school” than that is their choice and it should be fine for them to use a voucher to attend the school.

I support vouchers for the most part. Maybe I am missing something, but what I detest is the argument that vouchers will destroy public education. When opponents use “destroy” I assume this means that schools will lose students (i.e., money), or that they will lose more involved parents. The ability of a voucher to “destroy” public education is highly dependent upon:

1. There being enough seats available non-public institutions to accommodate a large percentage of public school children. Would that happen anytime soon — not likely! Additionally since a good % of private schools have admissions criteria every public school student would not qualify even if there were seats available.

2. Unlimited voucher access to every child that wants one… politically speaking I do not ever see this happening. When all the arm twisting, back-room deals, and the like are finished there will be some limits placed on the total amount of voucher dollars available for use. Furthermore, as stated in #1 above, the supply could not accommodate that level of demand anyway.

I will also add that If new schools started popping up everywhere, exactly who would be the most likely people to start such institutions??? If i had to guess, the vast majority would be former public school educators who are disgruntled, and who were perhaps treated like crap by their former public school employer. Hypothetically speaking, what if all the staff at your typical “good” or maybe even “great” school left and decided to create a private school that accepted vouchers, and lets say all that they did was implement a stricter discipline policy, get rid of new math, and Georgia-created standardized tests in favor of nationally normed tests… To the voucher opponents, would you have an issues with this?

Would there be some opportunists out there trying to make a buck on the back of taxpayers.. ABSOLUTELY! Who cares.. it happens in every other industry. Eventually they get rooted out and in this case the ability of a parent to choose will correct that situation when they unenroll their students. This happens with charter parents all the time. On the other hand, if this institution is able to effectively educate the child such that they will be able to compete with their global counterparts as adults, why does it matter so much that they have a profit motive (thought it would be hard to make a lot of profit at $5k per kid)??

All that said, if I assume the likely reality of what would occur if vouchers came into being my guess is that it would be something like this:

- The % of children that would be able to take advantage of a voucher would not be more than 10% of existing public school population, and this assumes that we approximately double the % of students who are now in private schools, so clearly this is somewhat of a high estimate. Give that the numbers are on that scale, precisely how could those numbers “destroy” public education.

- The amount of the voucher will never be enough to afford the most selective private schools, and in more cases than not, the public school parents that could afford to make up the difference are probably already in a public school zone that they are happy with and only a very few would opt to make up the difference of lets say $13-$15k in tuition (assuming voucher amt of $5k)

- A good percentage of the parents that elect the voucher would be from communities that have a higher minority population. Unfortunately many of these schools are lower performing and the sort that parents are trying to escape to begin with. This is also reflected in the charter school demographics. The majority of the populations served by charters are minorities so clearly these parents are looking for choices.

- Assuming my prior point is correct, these parents that want a different choice would most likely end up electing schools that are priced in the $6-$9K range as a result of the voucher. If you look at the ITBS scores of some schools at this price point they are about on par with what might be considered to be a “good” public school. the reason why more affluent parents who are already in a “good” school zone would not go to schools in this price point is because they typically will have fewer extracurricular and so their zoned public school may inevitably be a better option for them.

Finally, if we ever do pass meaningful voucher legislation in this state, I would expect that responsible DOE staffers and Legislators would also make it a point of also making information available to parents (maybe via a helpful website, literature, conferences, etc..) about how to select the right educational setting for their child. Choice, in and of itself, will not create a better educational outcome for a child. It’s the ability of a parent to be able to make the right decision that will determine whether one educational setting is better than another for their particular child. Armed with the ability to discern between good and bad educational environments, I have no doubt that many parents would still choose public over private.

My summary is that the numbers of students that elect to use vouchers would be such a small percentage of the overall population that it’s ability to destroy public education becomes laughable.

Someone please explain to me what exactly is wrong with giving the possibility of a choice to a parent or child who might not have had that choice otherwise????

Maybe

June 24th, 2010
3:33 pm

“Bad students need to be educated at all cost; the end result of not educating these students is still going to be at taxpayer expense. If you don’t believe me, check the local prison systems.”

Maybe HS Teacher, the “all cost” you are talking about, the “all cost” we aren’t willing to pay, is to educated them that there are REAL consequences for making bad choices, and it is CRYSTAL clear the public schools, as constituted, aren’t able to teach that lesson at this time.

Chris

June 24th, 2010
3:43 pm

When was a law created to keep schools from kicking kids out? They kicked kids out when I was in school a hundred years ago ;) I once told a BOE member that if APS had to change half it’s high schools into alternative schools to move the discipline problems out, it would be worth it. I got a strange look. What has happened to alternative schools? I know they used to exist. At least then, the behavior problems could be separated from the students who wanted to learn. It seems to me that schools have stopped holding students and parents accountable, not that the law is preventing it.

PC police

June 24th, 2010
3:50 pm

Chris here’s the answer to your last post. It’s become politically incorrect to talk about sending children to alternative schools. Sure they still have them for the most extreme cases, but I can tell for a fact that there are students who have made specific death threats to teachers, including the type of gun that will be used, and where the gun will be acquired from, who didn’t even get a whiff of so much as a detention, much less an alternative school.

Chris

June 24th, 2010
3:57 pm

Okay, PC police, then let’s give them some trendy new name that sounds good and ship them out! It sounds like multiple alternatives will be needed for the various levels of delinquent behavior. I just wish that some of these school systems would bite the bullet and let a parent sue so they could go to court and take these parents down a notch. I don’t think these bad parents can win in court. I find it difficult to believe that a jury would tell the school system they have to let Little Johnny threaten a teacher’s life so his self-esteem won’t suffer. After a few misguided parents lose a few law suits, maybe the rest of the parents will step in to do some real parenting.

Mid GA Retiree

June 24th, 2010
4:08 pm

If a law requires the parent(s) of a chronically disruptive child to homeschool that child, just who would enforce it? Seems like that would just create another layer of beauracracy, more government employees, more paper work, etc. etc. etc. We don’t have enough money to support our current system and I sure don’t see adding to the burden. However, keep thinking. Someone is bound to come up with a workable plan eventually.

PC police

June 24th, 2010
4:08 pm

Here’s more Chris. A teacher takes a cell phone from a student. Student strikes the teacher in an attempt to get the phone back. Administrator tells the child to apologize. Yes, apologize for striking a teacher. The student apologizes. The student ask if they can get the cell phone back since they apologized. The administrator says no, and the student yells they want the phone back. The administrator says how dare you disrespect me like that, and immediately suspends the child.

Final score, a student strikes a teacher and is made to apologize, but if the same student yells at an administrator, they are immediately suspended. These things happen, and happen far more often then people want to admit.

catlady

June 24th, 2010
4:14 pm

Chris, no the court would rule the school “made” the child act like that, and the parent would win a big settlement!

I think parents of real students should sue the parents of the miscreants for disruption of their children’s educations.

@catlady

June 24th, 2010
4:18 pm

You’re right catlady; where the hell is Gilbert and Montlick when you really need them?

catlady

June 24th, 2010
4:21 pm

Mid-GA: Just put the kid out of school. The parent can homeschool or not. At least we save the other kids. It is the schools’ responsibility to provide an opportunity for a student to be educated. Whether they take advantage of the opportunity is NOT up to the school system.

If a student gets put out of school, the parent should lose ALL public welfare benefits, if they receive them. It takes a LOT to get put out of school.

Chris

June 24th, 2010
4:36 pm

One last comment because I have to leave, PC Police. While I believe your last scenario has happened, it is beyond unreal that this is allowed to happen. Administrators are too afraid of litigation happy parents. Catlady, I think you have a good idea about parents suing because of their children being deprived of an education due to other kids behavior. I really don’t believe that the parents of some of these monsters are going to win in court. I wonder what the school systems would do if the parents of the well-behaved starting suing them to get the miscreants out. They’d be caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. LOL

HS Teacher

June 24th, 2010
5:06 pm

@ Parental Choice,

I really really don’t get your position. Let’s look at the start. I mean, why we even have taxes to pay for public education to begin with, okay?

It’s my understanding that someone in the past determined that it was in our Country’s best interest to provide some minimum level of education to all. Would you agree with that?

And, to provide this opportunity, everyone would pay taxes – and it happened to be primarily property taxes. That means that everyone – parents, single people, retired people, EVERYONE – contributed to the funds for the good of the Country for this. Would you agree with that?

So then, what I just don’t get is why YOU feel that as a parent YOU have the right to take the funds and for YOU to use them as you will – private school, public school, home school, whatever????? As a single person, I highly resent giving my tax dollars directly into YOUR pocket to make this decision.

The public school system is funded by EVERYONE’s tax dollars…..Remember that. And, it is YOUR choice to either use that opportunity or to send your kids to private school or to home school.

No vouchers, no way.

HS Teacher

June 24th, 2010
5:08 pm

@Chris and PC Police – This is why we need a strong State law to protect schools that are trying to make the right decision for education and to kick out these little monster that ruin the classroom for others. Make the parents that created these little monsters spend their own money for private school or to home school them.

HS Teacher

June 24th, 2010
5:12 pm

@Mid GA Retiree – If a kid has been kicked out of public school due to behavior issues is “home schooled” and the parent isn’t doing their job, this can easily be caught by requiring the student to take and pass all of these standardized tests (CRCT, EOCT, GHSGT) to show academic progress. If the student isn’t showing academic progress, then the parent is required to pay for private school (lean on their house, garnish their wages, etc.). It is possible to enforce with current things in place and would not require an additional level of anything.

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HNBC

June 24th, 2010
6:42 pm

I have no children and except for my own public school years (spent in another state), I have paid the school tax portion of my property tax because I think it’s important to have an educated society. I do not begrudge those dollars coming from my property tax even though I do not utilize the public schools in Georgia. However, I will take whatever steps are available to me (if any, unfortunately) to keep from having my share of school taxes go for vouchers. If parents want to send their children to private schools, fine. They can do it. On their dime, not mine. If their public school is not a good school, then get busy and see what can be done to correct the situation. Don’t expect others to help support your child in private school … that’s your job, not mine.

HS Teacher

June 24th, 2010
7:11 pm

@HNBC – amen!!!

Private School Guy

June 24th, 2010
7:22 pm

Giving out voucher’s to improve education is like giving out half price coupons to upscale restaurants to end hunger. The other downside of voucher’s is that there will be a groundswell of poorly run and managed start up school created to use the vouchers. If you thought there was confusion in natural gas regulation wait till you see this. You could give out vouchers based on the real cost of educating each individual child. For example $20000 for a crack baby with behavior problems, $3000 for a well mannered child of highly educated parents who has learned most of what they teach in public schools already.