Value in non students joining public school teams, clubs?

Should Georgia mandate that public schools must open their after-school activities to any child in the community, no matter where they go to school?  AJC photo.

Should Georgia mandate that public schools open their after-school activities to any child in the community, no matter where they go to school? AJC photo.

I exchanged e-mails with Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth, one of the co-sponsors of Senate Bill 55, and asked if I could share his explanation of why he sees a need for this legislation.

SB 55 is one of two bills — SB 34 is the other – that open public school after-school extracurriculars to children who don’t attend the school. However, I wasn’t clear which kids each of these similar bills was representing. (See earlier blogs for background. This one is about 55. This one is about 34.)

Were the bills designed to let any children, whether enrolled in private, charter, magnet or homeschooled, to join after-school clubs and teams at the local public school?

As far as SB 55,  Sen. Shafer said that he signed on because the bill “would allow home and private school kids to participate in public school extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities are subsidized by the taxpayers in that they make use of school buildings, practice fields, stadiums, etc.  Obviously, if there are dues or fees associated with the extracurricular activities, the home or private school child should have to pay them the same as a public school student.

“Coaches are sometimes paid extra, but you are right that many school teachers volunteer their time to sponsor or advise clubs.  I am not sure why the volunteer teachers would not welcome other students from the community the school was set up to serve.  I am convinced that the students from various educational backgrounds benefit from the interaction with each other, and I am little surprised you do not see that as a major benefit.  It may even be an evangelical opportunity to bring the home and private school children back into the public schools.”

When I asked the senator about the burden put on public schools to sort through this and manage a flow of outside children every day, he responded:

“As to the burden on public schools, I see the issue a little differently than you.  Parents who homeschool their children or send them to private school free up millions of tax dollars to be spent on the children who remain in public school, reducing class size and making more money available for teacher salaries.  Why should these children should be “punished” by denying them access to extracurricular activities that their parents’ tax dollars help finance?  Also, I think you are overlooking the value of children who attend public schools, private schools and home schools interacting with each other in these programs.”

Sen. Shafer’s comments clarify the rationale behind the bills, although I still expect fierce debate and still think that the logistics will weigh on already overwhelmed public schools.

At the Michelle Rhee event Thursday at the Capitol, I spoke briefly about the philosophy of SB 55 and 34 with the House Education Chair Brooks Coleman, R-Duluth, who shared my concerns that this was a lot to put on schools.  He asked why students in charters and magnets can’t have their own clubs and teams. It’s a valid point as many charters pride themselves on their after-school offerings.

Chairman Coleman also said that homeschoolers have not been enthused about this sort of legislation, telling him that they are not interested in signing up their kids for public school activities.

Then, I guess the  question becomes: Who wants these bills?

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog. (Folks, I am gone next week and will be without a computer so please soldier on without me, and please keep it civil.)

109 comments Add your comment

Chris Murphy, Atlanta, GA

February 12th, 2011
10:28 pm

Great way to stack the sports teams: take good athletes who are marginal students, claim they are home schooled, and they’ll be able to play wherever their folks can rent an apartment.
If it’s GA, its all about football.

ScienceTeacher671

February 12th, 2011
10:34 pm

Maureen! A whole week without a computer?? Is that possible in the modern world?

fultonschoolsparent

February 12th, 2011
10:52 pm

They can’t find music programs like band or orchestra in their home school curriculums (although I’m told some do try out for GMEA All-State events and succeed because they can practice 5 hours a day in a home school environment, some thing a public school student who studies and goes to class can’t do?! There have been several first chair home schooled performers at the All-States levels.) They have tried to get into honors choruses, bands, and orchestras in Fulton (that are already crowded with kids) and were turned away because they weren’t enrolled in a Fulton school.

Maureen Downey

February 12th, 2011
11:05 pm

@Science, We are staying with friends with no Internet so the question is whether I can sneak out and find a Starbucks. I am bringing my computer, but have promised to limit how often I use it.
Maureen

HS Public Teacher

February 12th, 2011
11:40 pm

He left out some MAJOR facts (seemingly to defend his position)…

While he is correct that taxpayers DO pay for things in public schools such as facilities, etc., he fails to mention that the way public schools GET the money is through student enrollment. Schools with large enrollment get more State money to FUND these types of things.

So, when non-enrolled students decide that they don’t want to go to classes there, but they DO want to do other things, they are NOT counted in enrollment and the school gets NOTHING to help pay for them.

Excuse me, but what is wrong with these other ‘entities’ forming their OWN clubs and sports and so on? Why would that be an issue of problem?

As others have pointed out, this “idea” has too many ways to abuse the system. Stacking the sports teams is only one problem.

As a coach and a sponsor of a sport, I will NEVER allow an un-enrolled student to participate. This is MY choice!!! I will quit before that ever happens – again, MY choice!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Homeschool News, Samantha Davis and Venture Gained, Mike Pratt. Mike Pratt said: Value in letting non students join public school teams?: –From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog. (F… http://bit.ly/dGdZqB [...]

HS Public Teacher

February 13th, 2011
12:01 am

GREAT question, Maureen… who does want these bills?

With all of the problems in Georgia for these republican politicans to address – unemployment, budget, etc. – they spend their time on this?

What exactly is going on??

Kawla

February 13th, 2011
12:10 am

@fultonschoolparent- it all depends on what area the homeschool student lives. My homeschooled child here in Gwinnett county takes music lessons at a large homeschool conservatory (several campuses spread throughout Gwinnett) that has a marching band, strings ensemble, flag corps (for a homeschool football team, natch! ) and a glee club, along with other class offerings. My child is still young so she just takes a lesson a week for now, but it is interesting to know that all of that is available in the future, should it be something she would like to join.

As I stated on one of the earlier blogs, and as Maureen states above, I don’t think we would be interested in my child joining anything at our local school. Mainly because I don’t think she would enjoy being in a club where everyone else except her knew each other well, and secondly because there IS so many homeschool offering out there now. Homeschooling is growing quickly and classes and clubs and what-not abound for homeschoolers in our area. I had to really sit down and choose carefully what my daughter would participate in this year, because there were so many things out there.

Though I would probably not utilize this bill, I do think homeschool/private students should be allowed to participate in public school offerings. As stated above we pay taxes while not utilizing public schools, which means more money for the kids that do.

I do see some of the points that some of the others against this have brought up though, and think the implementation would have to be thought through. I know that there are some states that allow homeschool kids to take only the classes they wish to at their local school, and homeschool the rest, so there are cases out there that could be studied. (honestly, I don’t know if that is possible here in GA or not, I’ve never looked into it)

ScienceTeacher671

February 13th, 2011
5:42 am

I think it’s a good case for having all the athletic activities through the recreation department and letting the schools focus on academic activities.

GA taxpayer

February 13th, 2011
6:19 am

Will public school students be able to participate in activities that have been organized for home-schooled students?

No name used

February 13th, 2011
7:45 am

HS Public Teacher, is your view not just a little selfish? It almost reeks of EEEWW THEY HAVE COOTIES, and I am sure that you don’t want it to come across that way.These parents have made an EDUCATIONAL choice for their children. They didn’t do it because they have a superiority complex in most cases. Every child has a different learning style, and public schools are not equipped to teach 5 different styles in 1 room all at the same time. The point is to educate a child-the means don’t really matter-the end result does. It is not a personal dig at you or your profession. Many homeschool parents are teachers by trade. If there is a dig at all it is the same one that many public school teachers have made too: a bloated administration that takes too much time for TEACHING out of your classroom, and focuses on the all important test while forgetting the most important aspect of a teachers job.

You have already stated before that you volunteer for these jobs, and so don’t get paid. Is that what bothers you?The school may get money based on enrollment, but they do get a base amount of money. Every homeowner in a county pays school taxes that contribute to that base amount. Homeschoolers pay that too. They also get no benefit-which is fine as far as the actual education part is concerned, but it is not when you are basically saying “give us your money, and shut up and go away.” What harm does it do if you have a talented or even a non talented child that wants to participate, whose parents are willing and able to pay the fees, help out, and do fund raisers, to allow that child a chance? He/she can be a benchwarmer if not talented enough, but give that child a chance. It is not costing you or the schools a danged dime to allow these kids access. It is teaching the children teamwork, and how to get along with people that may or may not be like them and to find common ground. BTW, I am referring to the public school kids getting that lesson as well. Honestly, to those teachers who threaten to quit if outside kids are allowed to participate, maybe a look at your career choice and why you chose it is in order. Kids are kids, but they ALL have value and our lives are enriched when they are part of it.

Oh, one more thing that you brought up in a prior blog: accountability. I don’t know one homeschooled parent who will inflate a grade so their child can play a sport. Most of the ones I know are strict and no nonsense when it comes to their child because they know the buck stops with them and if Susie can’t achieve, she will be 40 in their basement. If the child misbehaves, give a warning. If they do it again, remove them from the team. I bet if Mama or Daddy know Jr has been warned one time, their won’t be a next time.

No name used

February 13th, 2011
7:46 am

ETA-last line THEIR should have been THERE.. dyslexic fingers

Bryan in South GA

February 13th, 2011
7:47 am

I thought folks chose private schools or home schools so that their children would not have to interact with the public schools.

No name used

February 13th, 2011
8:29 am

Bryan, there may be some who do, but the majority do it for other reasons, whether they are for different standards in education, competition sports, religion, illness etc. When we lived in MS, we homeschooled due to the completely inadequate school system that we were in. I think the system we were in ranked near the bottom of the state. My 1st grader had a teacher that sent home a page for them to copy-not correct, just copy-presumably for handwriting. It read “The butterfly flied out the window.” A kindergarten teacher sent home this note: XXX spilt her juice in the calf… I was told it was her abbreviation for cafeteria. My then 5th grader was given explicit (I do mean explicit) materials regarding sex ed when I specifically requested she not participate in that class. Now, before someone gets all bent about me not wanting my 10 yr old taught sex ed, this was a co-ed class taught by a 22 yr old fresh out of college. Co-ed at 10 in not cool for this type of class. The materials were the ones you can get at the health dept with pictures, and detailed descriptions of sex acts, not just the health aspect of it, which I would have had no problem with. I was called by this teacher and asked why I denied permission. I explained it to her politely and thoroughly. She chose to send the materials home anyway and include my child in the class after I told her no. When I complained, I was told they felt she had to include all the kids because 2 10 yr olds were found having sex on the bus during school hours while the bus was parked at school.Why were they not supervised and this prevented? These were the people teaching my children. I felt I had to do better for my children. Only 3 families in our neighborhood sent their kids to public school. Everyone else homeschooled. The neighbor across the road took his 11th grader into the school to register, and turned around and walked right back out before he got 1/2 way thru the process.

Now, my children are in public schools. I have a freshman in college, one that is out of college, an 8th grader and a junior. They are doing fine and I like their teachers and the education they are getting for the most part. Do I wish I could still homeschool the younger 2 ? Sometimes, yes, due to non school sponsored sports/activities they are involved in taking a lot of time away from home, and honestly, some of the kids they meet there are trouble looking for a landing spot. Most of the kids are not though. As a homeschool parent, I would have no problem letting my kids participate in public school sponsored activities if they were interested. Mine however, look at high school as a means to an end-graduate, go to college and start life.

Driver Ed Teacher

February 13th, 2011
8:37 am

I taught Driver Ed in the community schools of Gwinnett County for 15 years. While most of my students were public school students, I often had private school kids (usually during the summer) and home school kids. Adding these kids to the classroom experience wasn’t a problem. Since I’d start and stop the driving experience at the kid’s home, some of my trips home took a while (I live in north Gwinnett – many of my home schooled kids lived in Walton – quite a hike!), but I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the non – public school kids. I don’t really see a problem with non – competitive extra – curricular activities. As a former coach, I recognize a disaster when I see one.

Douglasville

February 13th, 2011
8:52 am

They activities may be shared by the taxpayer but homeschooeld students would have an unfair atvatange. Students who attend public school have to be on time for class and school, if not they are punished and therfore can’t participate. I personally know most homeschool students don’t even get out of bed until 9 or 10 in the morning. They are more rested druing the day and have the added luxury of meals and rest before activites

TC

February 13th, 2011
9:02 am

@Kawla, where do your kids take band, chorus, etc. We are currently in a homeschool band in Cobb County, and the parents there are the most unfriendly group of people that I have ever dealt with. They have cliques and do not welcome new people with open arms, like they say the so. The funny thing is I have heard this from several people who used to be in this particular homeschool band. While the instructors are good, and seem fairly friendly, the other parents are not so much. So I am looking for a change for my kids music options. Thanks!

GNGS

February 13th, 2011
9:09 am

As a supporter of public education, intuitively, I dislike the idea of allowing home school kids to participate after school activities in public school. I realize it is because I dislike their parents who for the most part are religious nuts, who rejected our common value on education and now, who have the audacity to say to us: your education is not good enough for our kids, but we want to take advantage of the after school activities. Put aside my distain for these people, I do think there may be some benefits for the home school kids to participate in public school activities. Perhaps these kids will get a chance to interact with people outside their normal circle of life, just maybe, some of them will eventually learn something from others in public school. As a society, we will be better off with more interactions among different groups of people.

The issue is funding. This proposed law is unfunded mandate. As some people have already pointed out, a school gets its allocation of funds based on ENROLLMENT. More students participate after school activities, more cost to school. If these politicians were truly concerned about home school kids, they could have requested 0.1 FTE (or whatever amount) of per non-enrolled student to participate public school after school activities.

Batgirl

February 13th, 2011
9:47 am

I’m not sure why a bill is needed for this unless it’s to prevent lawsuits. I would think that legally public schools would already have to let homeschool/charter school kids participate, and unless homeschool Harvey isn’t good enough to make the team, he should be allowed to participate. I do, however, see ways for parents and schools to abuse the system.

@kawla, not everyone lives in metro Atlanta with so many activities available for homeschoolers, so maybe these bills are to benefit those folks in less urban areas. Imagine that–something for the “other Georgia”.

@No name used, I have read similar notes written by my fellow teachers and am horrified. I don’t know how they get through college or even high school with these poor writing skills. Also, I once had a parapro who told my students a story in which she said she “clumb” out a window.

Another view

February 13th, 2011
9:48 am

@gngs. You have it right. If they pay for it, then they should participate. If they do not, then they do not. It is that simple. But, GOP loves unfunded mandates, despite all the rhetoric to the contrary.

justin

February 13th, 2011
10:01 am

OK, so I thought a “charter” school IS a public school.

NWGA teacher

February 13th, 2011
10:04 am

Let’s not lump all home-schooled students together. I know several who do NOT interact with other home-schooled kids. They have no friends their own age, and their social skills are nonexistent. They would love to go to public schools, but their parents don’t want them “exposed” to other kids. If Susie got a phone call from a boy in the debate club, or if Bobby was tripped by another player at soccer practice, all hell would break loose.

Kawla

February 13th, 2011
10:12 am

@TC, my daughter takes lessons at the Lilburn campus, Grace Notes Homeschool Conservatory. (http://www.gracenoteshsc.com/) They do have a campus in Cobb, Joyful Noise Band, don’t know if that is the one you guys are in or not. We have enjoyed it and haven’t had any problems with anyone- every parent is required to volunteer so we see a lot of the other Moms. Of course, as I said my child is still young and only takes a weekly lesson, so she is not involved in the band or other competitive areas. It is very inexpensive for what we get out of it!

Mom to public schoolers

February 13th, 2011
10:19 am

HS Public Teacher wrote: “Excuse me, but what is wrong with these other ‘entities’ forming their OWN clubs and sports and so on? Why would that be an issue of problem?”

I’m assuming that you think that these students can also use the school buildings, the practice fields, and the stadiums for free (or on whatever financial terms are available for public school students)? If not, well, there’s your answer. Capital costs aren’t trivial.

(If all that they’re losing out on is *your* sponsorship, when you so clearly do not want to support these kids, then yeah, of course, no loss. But they would also be losing out on activities where volunteer public school teachers or parents would embrace them and support their inclusion and the interaction among kids, as many commenting said they would do.)

Mom to public schoolers

February 13th, 2011
10:21 am

“This proposed law is unfunded mandate. As some people have already pointed out, a school gets its allocation of funds based on ENROLLMENT. More students participate after school activities, more cost to school. If these politicians were truly concerned about home school kids, they could have requested 0.1 FTE (or whatever amount) of per non-enrolled student to participate public school after school activities.”

This is a non-trivial point that has been raised several times. Why don’t you raise this question with Sen. Shafer, Maureen?

GNGS

February 13th, 2011
11:13 am

Why stop at K-12? Using the same argument for allowing non-enrolled students to participate after school activities in public school, should not students from private universities also have a right to extracurricular activities in public universities (assuming they all pay into student activity fees in public universities)?

Gwinnett Teacher

February 13th, 2011
11:40 am

So the argument is that if a taxpayer chooses to homeschool they should have access to public schools simply because they pay taxes. Will this extend to using computer labs? The cafeteria? Classrooms? A parent chooses to homeschool because he or she thinks that is the best for their child, and I say more power to them. I have friends who made this choice and their children are wonderful. However, I would disagree with allowing their children to join in the extracurricular activities. As a former coach myself, I know that the athletes I coached were more than just players. They were expected to serve as role models in their behavior and with their grades. There were consequences if they didn’t. They served as school ambassadors when off campus by promoting pride in their school. How would a homeschooled child ever do any of this. I know that people look at high school sports as dumb jocks who get their way in all things, but good coaches require much more from their athletes than this, and if a child isn’t part of the every day school activities, it will be very difficult to live up to the expectations. It seems to me that this bill is trying to give the best of both worlds to homeschooled children: education that is designed specificially for them and their pace AND the sports and extracurricular activities that make their college applications well rounded. I don’t believe that should be allowed.

almh

February 13th, 2011
11:42 am

“I think it’s a good case for having all the athletic activities through the recreation department and letting the schools focus on academic activities.”

Amen!

Jeff

February 13th, 2011
11:53 am

When will someone tell these parents, “You made the choice, live with it.” I am tired of this argument that I am a taxpayer. I buy my groceries at Kroger, but I don’t expect them to let me have a say over which items are in the sale paper next week. You had a choice to attend public school and you chose not to. Again live with it.

A reader

February 13th, 2011
12:00 pm

Maureen, can you clarify a question that I have? Do these Bills allow for public school children to participate in clubs and extracurricular activities at other schools? And does this include sports?

I ask because many parent move int a district to allow their child to play a sport at a particular school or with a particular coach. If you open all boundaries, then schools with a powerhouse football or basketball team could cherry pick players from all districts.

On the other hand, would not be fair to allow charter,private, and home school children to participate in clubs that public school children may not be able to. Not all schools have the same clubs and extracurricular activities. So it would deny access to some while allowing access to others. The public school children would then be “punished” simply because they attend a public school.

Either way, these bills would create some unfair situations.

DRRCN

February 13th, 2011
12:04 pm

I’m not sure allowing home schooled kids to participate in an extra /co-curricular activity are a good one. Parents choosing to home school their kid(s) is a good option; however, they should not be allowed to participate in on-campus after school activities. As a Coach I treasure the quick conference with my student athlete during the exchange of class and/or when I send a pass to meet with a few student athletes during our lunch. Most of all I enjoy watching ‘em establish relationships they build with their peers as the years move on by being in the same classes, etc. These relationships do and will last well beyond their time in school. Kids to join-in after school loose this chemistry opportunity, which to me, is huge for success. Also, I worry this could/would be a slippery slope to gain more access to school goods throughout the school day all the while using the guise as taxpayers.

sloboffthestreet

February 13th, 2011
12:05 pm

House Education Chair Brooks Coleman has one focus and has expressed it to me. He wants teachers, who he is of the retired variety and has a child who teaches, to make more money and have less work to do. He is very aware that charter schools do not receive all the funding that follow a public school. It is very difficult for parents who are aware what a train wreck Georgia Public Schools are to spend a great deal of time and much more money to establish and maintain a charter school for the sole benefit of their childrens education. And he has the nerve to make the comment:

“He asked why students in charters and magnets can’t have their own clubs and teams. It’s a valid point as many charters pride themselves on their after-school offerings.”

Now that takes a lot of nerve. He knows better and should be ashamed of himself. He goes on about how he hangs out in a diner once a month to meet people who have concerns about public education and meet face to face. Funny how every time I ask him when he will be there to meet he says he dosen’t have one scheduled at the moment. Go watch him on youtube. He is very full of himself and loves to have his picture taken. He claims to be a motivational speaker on his website. Nowhere does he state he is a retired educator and administrator. As for the public school children in the state, I haven’t seen much change in the 6 years I as a parent have been involved. It’s time to stop asking the people who have allowed this mess to remain and get answers from people who have a proven track record. Perhaps Charlotte Danielsons, “The Framework for Teaching.” A change would do these students good. How about it Mr. Coleman and Mr. Milar. State Board of Education members. Dr. Barge and Gov. Deal???

Jae

February 13th, 2011
12:11 pm

Nice. A guy trying to pass a law when he doesn’t even understand how public schools are funded. This is clear from his comment, “As to the burden on public schools, I see the issue a little differently than you. Parents who homeschool their children or send them to private school free up millions of tax dollars to be spent on the children who remain in public school, reducing class size and making more money available for teacher salaries.”

NO THEY DON”T! Schools receive funding based on the backside in the seat. We receive funding from the State based on our enrollment counts. Local monies are only a small bit of the funding necessary to educate our kids. The State money makes it possible and we are only funded for the number of students sitting in our classrooms. This is a perfect example of why our education system is in trouble. The people in charge of it have no clue what they’re doing or how the system works.

Ann

February 13th, 2011
12:26 pm

@Kawla You mention that you would not want your daughter to participate in an activity at a public school “because I don’t think she would enjoy being in a club where everyone else except her knew each other well.” My experience as a student in public schools, including high school, was that I was introduced to people I did not previously know when I joined a club based on a particular interest. Those activities were where I met a variety of people that were not in my everyday classes. With high schools often having 2000 students, you are oftentimes not entering a situation where everyone knows each other prior to joining the activity.

SBinF

February 13th, 2011
12:39 pm

Why stop at after-school activities? Why not make the whole of public education a la carte? Home school your kids, but sick of cooking lunch every day? Drop them off at the neighborhood school for lunch period! Are you not so good with multi-variable calculus? No worries, take your home schooler to the public school for math class only. You really want your public schooler to go to the Renaissance fair, but you don’t like the long drive? No worries, sign them up for the field trip offered through the public school’s English department.

I thought parents generally chose to home school because public schools were lacking?

sloboffthestreet

February 13th, 2011
12:48 pm

Jae, These people as you call them pay State Income Tax. I’ll give you one guess where the majority of this money goes. They also pay sales tax along with any ESPLOST with every dollar they spend. Guess where that money goes. Cable bill, phone bill, insurance bill. These and others have tax associated with them that go to the state. The property tax they pay?? The majority goes directly to schools. So please explain how these residents do not pay for public education. This should be a good one. Please inform us how public schools in the state are funded and where the money comes from.

Ann tells the story just how it occurs. Perhaps someone should ask her what the REAL STORY IS Maureen?

As to the coach wanting to give a pass to his players to come meet with him during the school day or have lunch. Does the Fellowship Of Christian Athletes have anything to do with your Athletic Dynasty?? Perhaps you do not wish to have your Chosen Few infected with the OUTSIDE WORLD. Just a thought, and perhaps I’m wrong. Then again maybe I hit the nail on the head.

Atlanta mom

February 13th, 2011
1:00 pm

If students not attending the school are allowed to join clubs/activities, how, in a competitive situation do we describe our teams? Here, on the right are people aged 13-19 living in or around ABC High School, while on your left the 13-19 year olds living in and around DEF HS?

Reality Check

February 13th, 2011
1:11 pm

I have tried to be reasonable and rational during the school debates, but after reading several articles in the AJC this morning I’m Obviously, the people we have elected to represent us are CLUELESS about the real world. While many are struggling to find a job or working for a school system for 21 years and struggling to hang on to their home, their relatives are getting jobs left and right with a wonderful starting salary without furlough days. Then I read the statement from the Senator in this story–again clueless. When was the last time he was in a school? They are packing in students like sardines because of class size waivers and are already planning to do so again next year. It is a sad state of affairs when the fire marshall is the only person to set class size limits. So this Senator thinks it is a good idea to bring in children we don’t know for after school activities? It would be difficult to be responsible for children that you don’t know and have no way of knowing if they are participating that afternoon or not. My teachers are exhausted. People have no idea the pressure and workload that we deal with daily. The state keeps rolling more and more work down to the local level. Do our elected officials realize that? Our graduation rate may plummet to 64% when the new formula is applied. Do they think low grad rates are the way to attract new business to our state? Before everybody gets upset, tells me about a poor teacher or we are whiners–I’ll admit that like ANY business there are people who are not achieving as they should and should move on. The truth is majority love and care for the children they teach. I would like to challenge every elected official who is going to vote on any education bill including the budget to substitute teach at least one full day in a public school in the district they represent. I think it will accomplish two goals. They will gain first hand experience about what we face everyday and it will help our budgets by not having to pay a substitute. I wonder if any will accept my challenge?

sloboffthestreet

February 13th, 2011
1:16 pm

SBinF has some great ideas. “Take you child to school for lunch” you lazy home school parents. So your tired of cooking for your kids? I don’t think this guy/girl has bought a car or a gallon of gas in a while. Plus those lazy homeschool parents would probably have to pay full price for lunch. No SB, I think they will continue to make the peanutbutter & jelly sandwich they are accustomed too.

Send them just for math class? Great idea SB. They can help teach the high school kids learn to multiply and divide single digit numbers. I bet the teacher will love having them there.

” You really want your public schooler to go to the Renaissance fair, but you don’t like the long drive? No worries, sign them up for the field trip offered through the public school’s English department”

I don’t know what state you are refering to that students go on field trips but the only field trips that have taken place in our county this year have been for the Horizon{Little Genius} kids and they go quite often paid by, GUESS WHO?? Very good, the taxpayer!! Everyone else gets to sit in class led by the brilliant teaching staff. .Maybe you haven’t noticed but the average family today is made up of 2 parents if your lucky and 1.2 children. So perhaps you might be able to see past your present thinking and realize they may have trouble fielding a team not to mention, who would they play. Just in case I have left any doubt. Our children attend Georgia Public Schools and my homeschooled neighbors are welcome in our schools anytime, anyday. Why not. They pay for it. They should get to use it!!!

The one idea I liked best was to do away with school sports completly and put that money into county recreation programs so all children can play ball. Then the $100 per season per player cost could most likely be eliminated. Now that would be great. All kids get to play a sport!!!! It might even bring back the days of “It’s Great To Be A Kid.” not to mention you might get to meet one of your neighbors.

Kawla

February 13th, 2011
1:18 pm

@batgirl, you have a good point.

@Jeff, that is a faulty analogy. If you decide not to buy groceries at Kroger and instead buy from a small local farm (private school) or grow your own (home school) or even shop at Publix instead, you are not required by law to still contribute a portion of your earnings to Kroger.

I really think most home-schoolers and private schoolers are reasonably happy with their choice, if they weren’t they could enroll their kids in public school tomorrow if they wished. I think this will impact a small number of kids overall, but who knows- the face of a ‘normal’ school experience is changing with the times. More options means that more children will have a meaningful education, a good thing IMO – there is no ‘one size fits all’ in education.

HS Public Teacher

February 13th, 2011
1:30 pm

@No name used…

You really need to (1) grow up, and (2) stop trying to assume that you know my motives because you do not.

I feel it totally unfair to public school students – plain and simple. If you had bothered to READ my postings, you could have figured that out for yourself.

Public schools GET their money based on enrollment. The homeschooled kids do not count as enrollment. Yet, the public school is expected to acommodate them?

The end result is that the public school student will get less. And, obviously the parents on here that home school could not give a rat’s behind about what happens to public school kids. I do.

Therefore, as I said before, I will quit coaching and I will quit sponsoring any club if I am FORCED to admit an un-enrolled kid. This is MY choice!

There ARE many instances where home schooled students ban together to form clubs, compete in a variety of academic type bowls, etc. So what is wrong with continuing to do this? Why change? Why now?

This smells to much like another Georgia republican ‘bait and switch’ technique.

HS Public Teacher

February 13th, 2011
1:31 pm

Sorry – last sentence should be “too” and not “to.”

Tony

February 13th, 2011
1:43 pm

I have already stated that these bills don’t present a huge problem for me as a public school principal. I must take exception to Sen. Shafer’s remark about freeing up all that extra money. Please be a little more specific about where all this “extra money” is coming from? If you’re talking about the local tax revenue, we set our budget based on projected enrollment. To claim that money is somehow freed up by homeschoolers not attending school is really twisting the facts about the budgeting process. We do not receive a single penny from state funds for students who do not enroll. So, from that point of view there is no freed up money, either. Once again, just exactly where is the extra money coming from?

sloboffthestreet

February 13th, 2011
1:47 pm

Reality Check, really??? Ask a State Trooper how many furlough days he or she took last year. Would 12 suprise you. Talk to any State Park offical. I have neighbors who do both and they still have their homes. We as a family earned $9,200 less in 2010 than in 2009. No one is trying to take our home. We just learned to do without. Give it a try. Everybody else is. They just don’t have the opportunity to work an extra 16 weeks a year to make up the difference like a public school teacher does.

Also education is not a business. A business manufactures, sells or provides a service or product and in return must earn a profit to pay expenses and salaries. Schools have no such pressure to stay afloat. Your substitute teacher offer is cute. I have a better idea. I will substitue teach your class for an entire year and will collect your pay and benefits for the year. You will either start a business, buy and manage an existing business you can afford to buy, a loan will be allowed, or you can take your skillset and aquire employment in any field except public education. Private education employment is fine. At the end of the year we will look at student achievement and if they have at least made the same progress you have achieved for the last 3 years with your students I keep your job and you can continue to work in the public sector and perhaps the other side of the coin will magicaly appear. Let me know when your ready!! The start of the 2011/2012 school year sounds fair. And with the NCLB deadline approaching fast I think I have an idea what I’m in for.

Shafer is a loser

February 13th, 2011
1:52 pm

Shafer wouldn’t know a public school kid from a private school kid. This is part of the take over of the public schools by the private school crowd. The one thing a home school or many private schools can’t provide is competitive sports.
For those that can’t remember, Shafer lost virtually ever Republicn race he was involved in. It wasn’t until Ralph Reed came into the Republican party before they won anything. Oh yea, Shafer won Bill Goodwin’s race one year. Course Goodwin was disbarred and sent to prison. I wouldn’t listen to a word Shafer has to say.

DRRCN

February 13th, 2011
1:53 pm

sloboffthestreet ;
As I Christian, I want my “Chosen Few” infected with the “Outside Few” all day, not when it is convenient for you and the like. Either you’re in the public school or you’re not. Students of the like (all homeschooled kids, not just those parent/guardians who lean towards religious zealots spectrum) are at a disadvantage, period.

Nonetheless, by bigger concern is where will this end? First afterschool activities, then first and/or that last period math class b/c homeschooled parents don’t understand it…maybe that potential free lunch during the middle of the day, or that AP class to get that potential college credit. I may be off base but the burden of choice is with the parents here. Again, either you’re a student or you’re not.

Ted Striker

February 13th, 2011
2:03 pm

@1:30 p.m. “Yet the public is supposed to accommodate them…”.

As an individual who’s cheerfully paid tens of thousands in school taxes over the years — despite having no children — I will answer you. Yes.

We do it already. Get with the program.

CoolJ

February 13th, 2011
2:04 pm

The answer is simple. As usual, everyone tries to make it too complicated. If a kid is NOT enrolled in the school, they CANNOT participate in any school club, sport, committee, and they cannot win any awards that school offers to outstanding ENROLLED students like Valedictorian. It’s been this way my entire life as far as I know; why should it be changed now? If home schoolers want sports, start their own league or join the local parks and rec league.

sloboffthestreet

February 13th, 2011
2:14 pm

HS Public Teacher, So do you lead or have prayer before practice or a game? I’m not assuming anything. I am now asking a question. Please reply.

If you want to quit go ahead. You do get paid to coach, don’t you? No one has ever FORCED a public school teacher to do anything. Sounds like you should quit teaching too. I think your coaching duties are interfering with your teaching obligations. You make it sound like your kids are groomed from a young age from a certain club I already have mentioned to become the future Middle and High School stars. Sad how kids are allowed to play sports and some cannot pass the High School Gratuation Test. When you get six attempts to pass a multiple choice test and fail your not only poorly educated, you also have bad luck. Maybe thats why they got rid of it. Teachers in Georgia are great at giving out A’s on the report card. When the CRCT rolls into town they are F {800} students. Now just how can that be. I’ve watched this phenomena for years. It just must be beyond explination. I get a kick out of you telling me what I really need to do. Leave it to a teacher to make such a comment. Is this how you teach class??

sloboffthestreet

February 13th, 2011
2:26 pm

Perhaps this would be the best solution. If you do not have or enroll your children in public schools you are exempt from paying state income tax and the school portion of your property tax. Then no one will be in a position to FORCE you to do anything. You can even rename it THE GEORGIA PRIVATE SCHOOL SYSTEM. I am certain this will make almost everyone happy, well except for teachers and administrators. Sometimes you just have to find your own happiness in this world though. Good Luck with that!!!