APS, DeKalb scandals point to need for school choice

Education news lately has been one long advertisement for school choice. Tag line: It’s the administrators, stupid.

Foremost was the underwhelming report this past week on suspected test cheating in Atlanta Public Schools, and Superintendent Beverly Hall’s stubborn denial of even its modest implications. There also came word that an accrediting agency was looking into the utter managerial collapse in DeKalb County schools.

Before that, the AJC reported on conflict-of-interest stories involving the purchases by DeKalb schools of hundreds of copies of an administrator’s autobiography, and thousands of dollars worth of food from a school board member’s pizzerias. Not to mention DeKalb’s spending $4.2 million to hire 67 teachers from overseas, even though scores of educators in metro Atlanta have been laid off since spring.

You’ll notice a common thread here — and not only that DeKalb is starting to make even Clayton County’s school leaders look good. Much of the rot in our public schools starts at the head, a problem that school choice uniquely can solve.

Clayton’s failings a couple of years ago are legendary. The DeKalb stories speak for themselves. The freshest angle to the APS outrage is that Hall thinks the confirmation of statistically improbable irregularities involving over 100 educators at more than two dozen schools still does not prove “pervasive cheating” occurred.

I’d hate to see what Hall considers a truly rampant problem. Perhaps the second major technology-bidding scandal on her watch, one that could cost APS tens of millions of dollars?

Somehow, I doubt it.

Students, parents and taxpayers are being let down by school leaders (the chair of Atlanta’s board was also a member of the panel that sought to exonerate Hall and her staff in the test cheating inquiry). More choice for students, increasing competition and making the education bureaucracy face reality, is more vital than ever.

As the above scandals illustrate, pushing for school choice isn’t about blaming teachers. In fact, measures to promote choice, from vouchers to charter schools and virtual education, ought to be just as attractive to teachers as they are to students and parents.

If you’re a teacher stuck in one of the schools being pressured to order buy goods from board members and administrators, or to ignore or even cooperate with cheating among your colleagues, having more employment options should sound good right about now.

But the noises from the current and future education establishment might not be so pleasant.

The two Republican finalists for governor are lukewarm at best about school choice, as is the GOP nominee for state schools superintendent. (Hint: when you hear Republicans say only that vouchers are not “a silver bullet,” when hardly anyone claims they are a cure-all, it usually means they don’t consider vouchers an option, period.) Their respective Democratic opponents are worse.

Legislators might not be much better. They turned tail in this year’s session when asked to extend vouchers just to foster children and kids in military families. That doesn’t bode well for more ambitious moves.

The way to change the momentum on choice is to convince teachers that it is in their interests, too. Let’s hope it doesn’t take too many more big administrative failings for them to bite.

130 comments Add your comment

CJ

August 6th, 2010
7:44 pm

I haven’t done any research on this Kyle, but I’m wondering how school vouchers are anything other than subsidies primarily benefiting higher income households and privately owned schools (welfare for the wealthy). What do vouchers do for lower or middle income families still unable to afford private school tuition at a good school other than further reducing funds for the public schools where they remain?

Redneck Convert (R---and proud of it)

August 6th, 2010
8:21 pm

Well, I say send all the dummies to private schools. They don’t get tested there and the teachers don’t need no state liscence to teach. GA public school test scores will shoot up like a geyser once the lunkheads ain’t there no more. And best of all, it will be good for Private Innerprize. People with money will be climbing all over each other to open private schools and get state money. We’ll be rid of overcrowding and the bad teachers will have someplace to go.

It’s just a idea but in your heart you know I’m right. No point in just letting rich kids have a private edumacation.

Ayn Rant

August 6th, 2010
9:27 pm

Kyle, the notion of competing schools and parental choice is sound, but some groundwork needs to be laid. Competition requires a level playing field, and rational choice requires performance comparisons.

We need a core school curriculum that defines the basic education for children growing up in 21st Century America. And with it, we need a series of standard tests that can indicate the child’s progress through the curriculum. Then, both public and private schools would know what to teach, the public could decide which private schools are worthy of tax assistance, and parents could make a rational school choice.

If you take tax money away from public schools to fund private schools, the primary result will be to reimburse the parents who already pay private school tuition. The public schools will lose funding without a commensurate reduction of student enrollment.

What’s more, tax money would be used to support a lot of religious schools that teach mumbo-jumbo about miracles, creationism, and abstinence rather than appropriate life skills, awareness, and knowledge.

America doesn’t need worse public schools and another dumbed-down generation! Let’s fix the public schools so that all children have access to good education. We all pay for public schools; shouldn’t we demand value for our money?

Legend of Len Barker

August 6th, 2010
9:27 pm

With the state so badly in the hole in terms of funding schools and teachers, the last thing it needs to do is put together a massive charter system.

In fact a charter/magnet school actually closed this year. Ware County had never properly funded Ware Magnet, which spent its entire 17-year run in a substandard rural school building in Manor and was largely ignored by the county.

Which begs the question: Where would you house the charter schools? In metro Atlanta, you probably have enough decent buildings, but once you get outside of the area – which, believe it or not, exists – you have few adequate buildings. Or in a lot of areas, adequate community support to help fund it.

Now, you could trim sufficient fat in every school system, but very rarely is the state proactive and intelligent enough to identify where the real problems lie. There are curriculum directors making $85,000 in rural counties. More than one per county at that.

@@

August 6th, 2010
9:36 pm

You’ll notice a common thread here — and not only that DeKalb is starting to make even Clayton County’s school leaders look good.

That ^^^ brought tears to my eyes, Kyle. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen the word “good” used to describe Clayton County.

Grand Forks

August 6th, 2010
10:33 pm

“I haven’t done any research on this Kyle”

You never do.

wallbanger

August 6th, 2010
10:49 pm

Well, I figure the schools are pretty bad because the scores are so low, but then you have to give credit (or blame) to parents who are usually more concerned with their tennis matches and careers than they are with keeping up with what their kids are doing. School administrators seem to be as corrupt as our Congressional representatives and I don’t understand how they get to be made administrators without some kind of solid background. Parents need to get involved. I know when I got in trouble in school I had a lot more of it to face when I got home. Where are the parents? Or is it illegals and lazy kids bringing down the averages? I guess if you count the drop outs as F students, our rating would even be lower. Pretty disgusting future for this country with these uneducated kids running it. Maybe however, they will be too dumb to be as corrupt as our current rulers.

David S

August 6th, 2010
11:30 pm

Yes, there should be real choice. There should be NO government schools, and parents should fund their own children’s education. Gimmicks like vouchers only perpetuate the immoral funding of education through confiscatory theft from the citizens and property owners. Further, by continuing to funnel funds through wasteful and totalitarian government bureaucracies, money is wasted and money that is doled out will come with oppressive regulations and such that will only serve to undermine the burgeoning private school market.

Government management of everything it touches is a failure. There is no place for government in education except to provide a legal structure to address charges of fraud or force committed by private educational services providers.

A truly free and competitive market in education, served by both private and charity institutions, funded by parents directly and charitable contributions for scholarships and the like is the only sound and viable solution to the problems we will ALWAYS see in a government run and managed system.

How many more decades of failure will it take before people finally wake up to this reality?

shellybean

August 6th, 2010
11:31 pm

I’m not sure where people get the notion that school vouchers are taking money away from the public schools and giving them to private schools. The premise behind school vouchers is to give families the CHOICE of where to send their children to school. People who choose to send their children to private schools choose make many financial sacrifices in order to afford the education ON TOP OF paying into the public schools. School vouchers would finally give many families who currently have no choice a CHOICE as to where they send their children to school. Every child deserves the very best education possible and that is not what is taking place in this state.

David S

August 6th, 2010
11:35 pm

You need only look at the demanding comments from Ayn Rant to see that vouchers and such will never produce the freedom that everyone needs to have in order to find the right educational opportunities for their children’s specific needs. Regimentation, national standards, core curriculum, no religious schools, and all the other BS, control freak nonsense that we see today with government run schools will be demanded of anyone who is stupid enough to take the vouchers. This will either mean the destruction of good schools or the inability of parents to afford schools who will refuse to be destroyed by the new regulations.

Everyone benefits from so much free choice in so many other aspects of their lives and in every case where products are delivered well, services are tailored to individual needs, and the customer is treated with respect, you see customers who PAY THEIR OWN WAY, and can walk with their money if they are not satisfied. That will never be the case with vouchers or any other government-based scheme.

The truth

August 7th, 2010
12:50 am

There is a common thread between the corruption, incompetence, and total ignorance of the Dekalb and Clayton county school systems. People just don’t want to acknowledge it or talk about it.

Question for Kyle

August 7th, 2010
1:15 am

Kyle as someone who constantly puts forth the conservative views of personal responsibility and accountability, who do you hesitate to call for Beverly Hall’s resignation?

Larry

August 7th, 2010
3:48 am

Private schools have admission criteria and accept only the students they want. The “choice” belongs to the private school, not parents.

Private schools can teach anything or nothing as they see fit – and do it with anyone who wants to be a teacher. The parents of kids at two private GA schools didn’t choose to have their kids taught by a child molester, they didn’t know because private schools don’t have to do any type of checks on people they hire as teachers.

There will never be an AJC investigative report on how a private school grades their students, because all the data is private. If you view the problem as exposing instead of fixing wrongdoing, then private schools are the way to go.

We already have vouchers for SpEd kids. The public doesn’t where this money is going, much less if it’s being spent wisely, because there is no accountability of any kind attached to these public funds. It would make more sense to have a Hooters voucher. At least you would know where I’m spending your money, which is more information than you have now about the money spent on vouchers.

The issue isn’t having a choice – it’s getting someone else to pay for your choice.

Richard

August 7th, 2010
6:23 am

I see comments about structure, management, and funding for schools, but I don’t see anything about the two factors that are most important in academic success. Those are:
1) Student work ethic
2) Parental expectations/involvement

One who wants and/or is expected to get an education can become well educated in a bad school, or in fact without ever attending school.

This, like so much else in our modern soceity, is “I want/expect/deserve XXXX and somebody else needs to make sure I get it.” There is entirely too many who think someone else is responsible for there destiny.

Will

August 7th, 2010
9:13 am

We had our referendum on public school vouchers and just over two of 10 republican primary voters supported vouchers.

Eric Johnson was the most ardent supporter of this plan to re-segregate public schools and made this re-segregation the cornerstone of his campaign. I think that his insignificant vote total (okay, go ahead and include the vote total of that guy – can’t remember his name – who loves little teenage girls as he most likely would have dismantled public education in Georgia after he led the state to secession from the Union) from the most radical elements of the base of the republican party should place school vouchers somewhere on the “to do” list close to getting rid of those pesky black helicopters that keep an eye on citizens and the pursuit of President Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate.

john

August 7th, 2010
9:28 am

While I am often critical of the AJC, I applaud the AJC for its coverage of this issue. I have seen many reports and there has to be some accountability for this.

The bottom line is this is a black/racism issue. If something like this happened in Alpharetta, Roswell, East Cobb, the parents would demand and force the school administrators to resign. However, because most of the adminsitrators and schools listed are majority African-American, this is trying to be swept under the rug.

Not only should most of the administrators and teachers be fired; criminal charges should be brought against several as well. Remember, several of these teachers received bonuses for higher scores. They in effect, STOLE money from the taxpayers. When scores plummeted this year, there is absolutely no doubt that massive cheating occurred.

This is black administrators protecting their own…That is not opinion, that is fact

atlmom

August 7th, 2010
9:34 am

just the idea of people commenting: oh, all the money will be funneled to the private schools SHOWS that the public schools aren’t any good and that the private schools are better, right? So why do we think that they will get better any time soon?
Why not have parents choose where to send their kids?
Personally, I can choose to live where I want, and if I wanted to send my kids to private school, I could. Others don’t have that choice. And we know that there are plenty of parents who don’t seem to care about their kids’ education – they just plop their kids in the school wherever they live and that’s that. If parents were forced to actually MAKE A CHOICE on the kids schools – perhaps they would become more involved in the kids’ education…and since parental interest is probably one of the biggest indicators of how well kids do, presto changeo – perhaps things would get better overall.
Even if you allow more charter schools things would get better, we have seen it. BUT the unions/schools don’t WANT more charter schools, simply because they are showing better results with the same populations. Hmmm…maybe rather than fighting them they should look into what they are doing (and no, charter schools can’t pick and choose the kids that go there).
One program that has worked stunningly for 50 years is the federal loan programs (or the GI bill). People PICK THEIR OWN UNIVERSITY (the horror!) and the feds pay for it. What’s different about parents picking their own schools for their kids? The federal government (!) decided that to create their own university system wouldn’t make sense (altho if the program was implemented today, I would suspect they WOULD do it) – so they said: hey, there’s tons of schools out there, let the students decide, and then we’ll pay for it. How has *that* worked?

FYI – Eric Johnson came in third in the primary.

Millie

August 7th, 2010
9:56 am

Abandon hope for the APS. The coverup is working. Nothing will change.

Btw…it’s OUR money… Not “public” money. the public does not have any money…just the money they take from us.

A CONSERVATIVE

August 7th, 2010
10:00 am

LIBERALISM….that one word describes the primary problem…..liberalism…

A CONSERVATIVE

August 7th, 2010
10:00 am

LIBERALISM….that one word describes the primary problem…..liberalism…

Kyle Wingfield

August 7th, 2010
10:02 am

CJ: It depends on the amount of the voucher, but keep in mind that not every private school is ultra-expensive, and that not every voucher would be used to go to a private school — some parents would choose to send their children to better-performing public schools. That can get tricky when you consider capacity, but the same issue exists for private schools. And a law that made clear that a broader segment of the student population would have the means to pay for an alternative school would spur the opening of more new schools. We’ve already seen that with the charter schools law, even though the funding of charter schools is still being challenged in court.

Question: First, Jay already wrote that column. I agree with what he wrote (Thursday online, Friday in print) and in the interest of variety thought I’d do something different.

But it’s more than just that. Say you replace Beverly Hall with someone else who’s spent 30 years in the education bureaucracy. Maybe we get wholesale change, maybe we don’t. The point of this column is that our central offices are stocked with administrators who are, at best, poor managers — and lots of them. If you think the next person down the pike is going to fix an educational model that’s become broken way beyond Atlanta, I think you’re mistaken.

I think more school choice is a more far-reaching solution to a problem that is much wider than just the superintendent of APS.

Avery

August 7th, 2010
10:19 am

Kyle, what does this have to do with “school vouchers”. The fact is, the public education system has been systematically gutted and then held to higher standards. In other words, the poorer districts have been told to do more with less. If you are guaranteed to be fired if your school does not meet standards, and only have some probability of being caught, of course the administrators will cheat.
Every indication is that situation would be more prevalent under vouchers. The gap between the “have” schools and “have not” schools would widen, and administrators at the “have not” schools would be even more desperate to keep the good students they have by inflating the academic quality of their school. My guess is that the incentives involved would have led the administrators to cheat MORE under vouchers, not less. Pretty basic economics. It seems conservatives have been so trained to scream “school vouchers” at any education problem that they fail to think through the problem deeply.

booger

August 7th, 2010
10:35 am

Halls response to the findings says it all. By reassigning all the teachers involved rather than firing them, she has pretty much sent the message that this is just a minor problem. Certainly no one should lose their job just for cheating. How will students view this? Cheating must not be that bad. My teacher did it and kept her job, salary, pension, everything.

What on earth would someone have to do to get fired in Atlanta?

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama

August 7th, 2010
10:42 am

Let them eat cake – Ms NObama’s lavish trip with unemployment at 9.5% Way to lead by example, how about vactioning in the Gulf, where you told “us” to go…….

According to CBS News, the tax dollar part of the First Lady’s vacation to Spain include an estimated $146,000 round trip cost for the U.S. Air Force 757 aircraft, not counting ground time; about $95,000 in hotel costs for an estimated 70 security — Secret Service and military — who get a $273 per day government per diem, plus costs for the dozen or so cars in her motorcade. I’m told that three shifts of agents are needed for a trip of this magnitude.

Claude

August 7th, 2010
10:54 am

A big national or statewide voucher system doesn’t have nearly enough political support, but there should be automatic vouchers when the public school system has a managerial and ethical breakdown. The DeKalb public school system is run by people who view it as a source of personal plunder. Yes, vouchers won’t every solve educational problem (no one’s claiming they will), but moving kids to schools that aren’t run by pirates is a clear improvement.

Bu Bar

August 7th, 2010
11:05 am

The ‘anointed’ one spends money at leasure, so why not trot over to Spain and throw away money we don’t have… Makes since like every thing else they do.

When are you stupid people gonna wake up and see how fast we are going down the toilet????

Watch Fox news and get a better understanding about the trouble we are in NOW!!!

Take an hour of your day and listen to Glenn Beck..
You will be glad you did.

Casual Observer

August 7th, 2010
11:21 am

Bu Bar,

You will now be called all sorts of names by the Libs posting here.

Although the “facts” presented by CJ are mostly slanted to his side of the argument, even when an analysis disproves his point, CJ at least presents an argument rather than the usual name-calling. Although I do recall one CJ comment referring to ditto-head(s).

The Left seems primarily motivated by “feelings” rather than fact and is more prone to personal attacks rather than rebuttal (except for Barney Frank and the CA Judge who ruled on the marriage issue).

Bu Bar

August 7th, 2010
11:32 am

C. Observer……. don’t give a dang who calls me names.

You can sit back and get raped all you want, but don’t be stupid and ask what happened when the curtain falls.

Casual Observer

August 7th, 2010
11:35 am

Bu Bar,

Did I offend you in some way?

jbgotcha

August 7th, 2010
11:36 am

Can it, Kyle! You are from Whitfield County. You don’t know s@#$ about Metro Atlanta.

Richard

August 7th, 2010
11:36 am

I’m going to rant a bit here. You people just don’t effing get it. Regardless of the school system, anyone who wants an education can get one. A person who chooses to be educated can regardless of wheather they attend a good school, a bad school, or for that matter no school at all.

barking frog

August 7th, 2010
11:38 am

You can sit back and get raped all you want
No you can’t, rape requires “no consent”

Here's The Thing

August 7th, 2010
11:38 am

Mrs. Obama did not use taxpayer money entirely. Alot of the expense was paid out of personal money. How many of you take lavish vacations? That has nothing to do with the APS bad performance. Beverly Hall needs to be fired. All teachers and administrators involved need to be fired. None of them are setting a good example for our children and certainly are not role models. I am raising my grandson and he knows without a shadow of a doubt if he gets in trouble at school he is in trouble when he gets home. His teachers know this also. If your little or big Johnny or Susie misbehaves in school – you have two choices – make excuses for them always blame somebody else, including the teacher, or set down rules that you expect them to follow and if they don’t then they suffer the consequences at school and at home. If teachers were allowed to discipline the trouble makers and administration followed through, you would see a big change. Wow the teachers would then be allowed to teach instead of babysitting the trouble makers. In over 25 years of dealing with public schools I have only run across three teachers that, in my opinion, should not be teachers and be booted out. Every other teacher I have dealt with were willing to discuss ANY situation. Vouchers ARE NOT

Fred

August 7th, 2010
11:48 am

It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand.

Casual Observer

August 7th, 2010
12:03 pm

Public schools are a failure and perhaps the best example of government’s inability to do much of anything correctly (OK, maybe the Post Office).

Government, at all levels, needs a significant downsizing. This would result in lower taxes but provide sufficient dollars for the programs government should supply. Let the parents be responsible for the education of their children, even continue to require the parents to educate the children, but eliminate public schools.

The Public School System is nothing more than a Liberal idea to proselytize and create a larger and larger dependent class who will look to government to provide for their needs. The public schools fail the majority of their students and only those with involved parents, or children somehow self-motivated, actually succeed.

End government welfare. The system does nothing more than the public schools by creating a larger dependent class. There are private organizations willing to provide for the people in need and the churches are always at the ready to help.

This debate on schools is nothing more than a debate on the whole of government and those, such as CA Democrat Pete Stark, who believe the federal government can do anything it wants need to be reminded we are a nation of laws based upon the Constitution. We must return to the tenets of the Constitution or fall into anarchy and socialism.

The current POTUS should not only be removed from office but also removed from this country for he is a seditionist. Those who seek, as does the POTUS, to create a one world order (Bush I and Bush II, Rockefeller, Clinton(s), Soros) and their supporters also need to be shown the exit. Socialism has always been, and always will be, a failure with a very few owning all of the wealth. There will be no middle class and the education system will be much as now – an indoctrination program.

Bu Bar

August 7th, 2010
12:07 pm

Fred—I do understand and yes you are right

John

August 7th, 2010
12:12 pm

“I’m not sure where people get the notion that school vouchers are taking money away from the public schools and giving them to private schools.”

Can you explain where the money would be coming from? It would be taken from the education fund. If you take money from that fund and give it to private schools, the of course, that would leave less money to put into the public school system.

“The premise behind school vouchers is to give families the CHOICE of where to send their children to school.”

People already have a CHOICE. If they choose to send their kids to private school, no one stops them.

“People who choose to send their children to private schools choose make many financial sacrifices in order to afford the education ON TOP OF paying into the public schools.”

That’s right, they certainly have that choice. But using your logic or reasoning of also having to pay for public schools if they choose to send their kids to private school, should then people who have not children not have to pay the part of taxes which goes to fund education?

Kyle Wingfield

August 7th, 2010
12:15 pm

Avery: Do me a favor, and go check out some stats about spending per school, and achievement at those schools…the Georgia Public Policy Foundation has a good compilation of these things in its 2010 Georgia Report Card for Parents: http://gppf.org/pub/edrc2010.htm

You may notice that APS is highly competitive statewide in terms of classroom spending, and blows away the rest of the state in one particular area: central-office spending.

Or, if you prefer, check out some stats about spending per student compared to achievement over time…the Center for an Educated Georgia has some state-specific ones here: http://bit.ly/9BolWT

The Cato Institute has some nationwide figures here: http://bit.ly/bOYWEn

And then tell me where you find a correlation between spending and achievement.

Casual Observer

August 7th, 2010
12:16 pm

Claude,

Virtually ALL elected and appointed officials view government as a means of personal plunder, some are just so arrogant they do not even attempt to hide. The bigger the government, or school system, the more the individuals feel they can plunder.

Kyle Wingfield

August 7th, 2010
12:17 pm

John: Not everyone can afford choice as you define it. The greatest need for vouchers and other measures is in school districts with a disproportionate number of low-income families — precisely because those parents and students can’t afford choice the way higher-income families can.

Casual Observer

August 7th, 2010
12:24 pm

Not all children in public schools are from “high income” families. Both of my parents worked to send me to a private school rather than the awful (even way back then) Atlanta Public Schools at a time the Atlanta schools were majority white. The lack of quality in public education is not a black/white issue.

John

August 7th, 2010
12:28 pm

Kyle, then let those private schools offer scholarships. Tell me, if a public school is failing and the government spends x number of dollars per student but the private school cost twice that much, then would all parents with kids at that failing school have the total cost paid to have their kids sent to the private school if they can’t afford the private school. If that’s the case then wouldn’t that possibly mean raising taxes? If that’s not the case, then where do you draw the line? If you put a limit on it, then couldn’t that force some kids to stay in that failing school?

fair and imbalanced

August 7th, 2010
12:29 pm

More choice means more corruption. What is needed is better oversight and accountability. Kyle does not have one suprising or original thought.

Question for Kyle

August 7th, 2010
12:37 pm

Kyle you weren’t asked what Jay thought. You were asked what you thought. It’s a simple direct question for someone who claims to embrace the conservative core principles of personal responsibility and accountability.

That you chose to take a different tack than Bookman in no way prevents you from giving a simple direct answer to a simple direct question. Should Hall resign, and if she doesn’t should the board fire her? Why the dodge Kyle?

public school teacher

August 7th, 2010
12:39 pm

Kyle, why can’t you be honest and admit that some people want vouchers so that they can subsidize their children’s private school education. There is no way the money for vouchers would not adversely affect public schools. And as far as providing low-income families choice, very few would likely take advantage of the vouchers because the tuition at a private school is only one aspect of the private school experience. You have to consider transportation, books, clothes, school sponsored trips, peer acceptance, etc. Also, private schools have the ability to accept or not accept students based on an admissions criteria. So what would happen to those who have disabilities, those who don’t perform on grade level due to low IQ, or those who are unfortunate enough to be born in nonsupportive situations. But somehow, I think that is exactly what you would like; for those “rejects of society” to be left in the public schools so your children could go to a school that doesn’t have to deal with such students. I teach special education in public school and previously worked in private school so I truly know the inside and out of both private and public schools. This whole issue really brings out the selfish nature of those who advocate vouchers. You should look inside your heart and at least have the journalistic credibility to be honest about your motivation for vouchers.

John

August 7th, 2010
1:08 pm

What “vouchers” or “choice” really is about is taking public taxpayer money and distributing it to private organizations, churches, ect. If those advocating vouchers are really concerned about education then why not look at real solutions to fix public eduction instead of taking funds away from them and giving it to private organizations. Problems, such as ethical issues exist in the private sector as well.

My parents had a CHOICE and they choose to send me to a private school. Of course, they continued to pay their taxes that supported the public school system. They choose to put our education before themselves….doing without luxury items they felt was not needed. The school I went to was incorporated as a non-profit organization, which means it did not have to pay any taxes. But as I mention, my parents paid the tuition and the school did not ask for any public funds.

One of the slippery slopes I see is what would happen once we take public funds to support private schools. Private schools could potentially loose some of their independence. There were things we could do (such as prayer in the school and other types of programs) which cannot be done in the public school. Going to a voucher program that allows public funds into the private sector, wouldn’t private schools possibly loose their autonomy? What would happen if a non-Christian family use public funds via vouchers to send their kids to a Christian school (perhaps it’s the only private school in the area) but don’t want their kids led in Christian prayer. They possibly turn around and sue and the Christian school is forced to eliminate prayer or religion classes. Where would the separation of Church and State lie?

coddyhawk

August 7th, 2010
1:28 pm

A simple formula for greater success in our schools:

1.Parents, go to work and get married PRIOR to having children.
2. Stay married
3. Only have as many children as you can afford.
4. Read to your children
5. Teach your children about private property rights and respect for the rule of law.
6. Bust the teachers union.

John

August 7th, 2010
1:42 pm

Kyle, can I conclude by your position on this issue that you are for the government taking over private businesses? Isn’t that what Republicans called the bailout of the car industry? You know…GM is now Government Motors. Not only is there the issue of giving vouchers to be used in the private sector but in order to attend the private school I attended, the parents had to be stockholders in the corporation. So would you then support the government buying stock and becoming owners in order for the voucher holders attend the school?

Bu Bar

August 7th, 2010
2:18 pm

Do you remember what J.B. Stoner had to say about De Kalb Co. schools years ago. He was dead on.
He also tried to warn you of the take over of inner city school systems by money mongers .
He was so right. If he had of known about homeschooling he would have advised us who followed him and we would be better off.
We need to pay attention to whats going on in D.C. now and not make the same mistake we made in the last election.
Watch Glenn Beck sometimes for a more peripheral view about America as she truly is today.You will thank yourself that you did.

Bu Bar

August 7th, 2010
2:19 pm

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