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School Choice: Somewhere, Milton Is Smiling

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Real World, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    I've been an advocate of school vouchers for years now. Makes so much sense there's only one conclusion it isn't common policy, loosing budget money and politics.


    Somewhere, Milton Is Smiling

    Utahns win a hard-fought victory for school choice.

    Monday, February 5, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

    The late Milton Friedman, who was the nation's foremost advocate for school choice, would be more than pleased with the news coming out of Utah. By a vote of 38-37, the Utah House last Thursday approved the first-ever statewide universal school choice plan.

    .....

    Utah's plan is modest, and at the same time revolutionary. It would reimburse parents sending their children to private schools between $500 and $3,000 a year based on their family income. Parents whose kids currently attend private school would not be eligible unless their income was low enough. But all new kindergartners would qualify, so that by 2020 all private school students would be eligible for vouchers.

    State Rep. Steve Urquhart, the bill's chief sponsor, says the breakthrough in winning House approval was the realization that it wouldn't harm public education. The bill stipulated that for five years after a voucher student left the public system, the district would get to keep much of the money the state had paid for his education. Given that the average district gets $3,500 from the state and the average voucher is expected to be $2,000, a typical school district would gain some $1,500 every time a student left its system.


    http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110009624
     
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I have no problem with school choice as a concept. Except that it takes money out of public schools. We'd basically be subsidizing private schools.

    Also I'm not sure how far away the kids can go - is the district responsible fior bussing kids all over the place at school district cost ? And how does this affect the global warming argument ? ;)

    Honestly, from my limited experience as a parent with kids in school (first and third grades), how much the kids and parents want to do well is more important than the school they're at.
     
  3. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Where I agree that proper parenting is the most important aspect of education, I think choice is crucial. Everyone pays for education whether they use it or not. Giving a parent a break on what they pay when they're not using said service, only makes sense. We spend half a trillion dollars on education in this country. Money isn't the problem. I like the idea of having a choice. I think such choice breeds competition, and competition always improves efficiency.
     
  4. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thisis a positive development. As to the issue of money being taken from schools, you will note on a per student basis the amount of the vouchers is less (usually , .5) the amount spent on kids in the public school system, so that would leave more per student for the students remaining in the schol system. ;)
     
  5. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I was under the impression that part was just the initial phase in for students leaving public schools in the first five years.

    I don't know how to say this nicely but . . .

    One of the problems I have is that kids who are at bad schools are typically kids from bad homes (on average, not all). And, quite honestly, I don't want them coming into my kids' schools and lowering the quality of student at my schools. Right now the system works in a weird way. Most kids at bad schools have lesser parents, most kids at good schools have better parents. Again, not all in either case. Honestly, if you average the two then you bring down the majority to help the minority. It doesn't affect me as I live in the middle of nowhere without significant differences between schools. But on a theoretical level, if I lived elsewhere I'm not sure I'd want a bunch of bad kids with bad parents showing up at my kids' school with a voucher in their hands.
     
  6. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have no issues with School Choice as long as the choice is not faith based, that would be a violation of church and state. My concern is that possibility of extremist education, would it be ok if the voucher went to a Islam educational center??
     
  7. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    Why would a bad parent care enough to do the paperwork to transfer her kid to a better school?
     
  8. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Exactly, and beyond that, why would a bad parent invest more of their money to cover the portion of the tuition that the voucher wouldn't cover? See, I think that a parent who pays for an education directly, as in not via taxes, would be more concerned with a return on their investment. Even at the max of $3,500, their would certainly be an out of pockets cost.
     
  9. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Maybe they wouldn't. But now that my kids are at school and the issue is more real to me, I'm a little more cautious about wanting to have my kids mixed in with other kinds of kids.

    I know it sounds awful but there's a lot of crap out there.
     
  10. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

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    Actually, vouchers merely allow parents to have a choice by NOT FORCING them to pay for something they do not want. Police are police and firefighters are firefighters, but teachers do a lot to shape and mold the minds who will be leading society of the future. They teach young people from age 5 until 18 what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false. Huge influence on young people.

    And right now, with "public education" so heavily dominated by a certain mind-set that many parents do not agree with -- but have little choice in the matter -- there is a distinct lack of diversity of opinion available in the "public" schools.

    The current "public school" system is a monopoly on the minds of the youth, and that is unfair. And scary, given what the "politically correct" agenda of the public schools is.
     
  11. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

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    And also (not to pick on you, BF :D ) what you are saying here is exactly what the NEA and other teachers' unions want the public to believe. They have propagandized this issue heavily. They make it sound like this money somehow "belongs" to them. Wrong. The money belongs to those who make the best product, those who produce the best results.

    As has been said, half a TRILLION dollars are spent on public education, yet we are hearing all the time that so and so is "killing education funding". Pure propaganda. And for what?? To keep these folks rolling in money and power.

    A lot of misused and poorly used money *ought* to be taken away from the education establishment if they turn out kids who cannot read, cannot do math without a calculator, do not know history, do not know where Taiwan or Ireland is on a map. Not to mention teaching about the value of a family. Don't get me started on that.
     
  12. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    What about trying private police forces or have small businesses that can start private fire companies? I'm not necessarily for or against that. Just throwing it out because I wondered if anyone knew of a Commonwealth law that would forbid it.
     
  13. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Liberals have been hell bent on f-cking up the American School system for years ever since their "Crazy Bussing Crap" failed.

    Liberals can't force dumb kids to be smart so they want all kids to be dumb.

    If Possible "HOME SCHOOL".
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2007
  14. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

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    It's being done around the country; don't know about in Massachusetts.

    With these functions it is a bit different because almost everyone agrees on the missions of police and fire-fighters. Whereas with education there is a much greater difference of opinion as to what is "good" and "bad".

    Allowing people to CHOSE what kind of education they want for their children is sorely needed. These days of the monopolization of public education by a very narrow and yet highly ideologically-driven core group of people is dangerous. It is irresponsible to allow this to continue. We need openness, transparency, and most of all, level-headedness.


    //
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2007
  15. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Liberals don't want Parents to CHOSE where their children are educated because Liberals want the children BRAINWASHED to grow up to be Socialist Liberlas.

    When your child comes home and starts telling you about all the Looney Liberal Sh!t that they are being fed in the public school try and remove them if possible, there are still many good old fashioned American Value Schools around you just don't hear about them (they don't want you to hear about them)

    Progressive Liberals are trying to take the country over, and they are doing a good job of it, when they do, Watch Out, your freedoms will vanish overnight.
    :rocker:
     
  16. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

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    Well, that's the point: a certain group most certainly *DO* want to choose where they educate their children. They have chosen the public school system. And they want what they believe, and ONLY what they believe, to be taught to EVERYONE. And, interestingly enough, it's these folks who have gotten control of the school systems (NEA, Teachers Unions) who are most resistant to allowing any kind of moral education into the schools.

    Then we wonder how boys children can be killing other children, how adolescents can be having gang sex with five-year olds, or girls are beating the crap out of other 12-year olds, or teachers (both men and women) are seducing BOTH girls and boys. Some have said that America today makes Sodom and Gomorrah look like a nineteenth century nunnery.

    That's what happens when morality is removed from schools and society.


    //
     
  17. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    What they really should call this law is:

    "The private schools don't have to give a rat's azz about controlling costs anymore Act"

    Anybody who's struggling to send their kids to private schools right now needs to find a world-class accountant and get real good at hiding money JIC this goes national. Demand for private schools just got a gigantic boost(Imagine Shawn Merriman with an elephant needle sticking out his rear end for comparison) and that can only lead to a gigantic boost in tuition.

    Really, we should all pool our money together and start a private, for profit, school. If this goes national our stock will laugh in the face of HD or M$ by 2015. We'd be able to get a Patsfans luxury box!!
     
  18. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

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    Actually, more competition in education would strive to keep costs down, not raise them. In today's monopolistic control of education, there is almost zero incentive to hold down costs on anything: books, materials, or salaries. A little competition would change that over night.

    Another factor is that most private education institutions have tax-except status. Makes is so easy to attract students. Take that advantage away by making private schools pay taxes and you'd see a much more level playing field. New schools of different types could open up and compete.
     
  19. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    At least on the surface, the Utah approach looks reasonable since it gives public schools some money when it loses a student to a charter school. One of the big concerns of most charter school proposals is that they take money away from public schools, which will always attract the lion's share of students from low-income families. What I don't want to see is a downward spiral in the salaries of teachers (who in many areas are not paid well) or taxpayer funding of religious education. I also think that private schools should be subject to the same rigorous controls as public schools, meaning that what they pay, who they hire, how they make decisions, etc. should be public. As I understand it, some states have far looser laws governing charter schools than public schools. While many private schools are run by sincere people, there are also some that are more interested in money than in helping kids. For instance,

    http://www.10news.com/news/9506326/detail.html?taf=sand
    http://www.newsobserver.com/167/story/495000.html
    http://www.capitalonline.com/cgi-bin/read/2007/01_29-24/TOP
     
  20. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    There won't be more competition in private schools, there'll be much, much less. When you don't have to fight for a limited supply of kids who's parents make the commitment to sending their kids to private school because the government just dumped an enormous pile of kids with vouchers in your lap, you can forget about bake sales and raffles and all the stuff private schools do to control costs.

    Look at the cost of College tuition over the past decade or so. There's a very strong argument that the large increases in price can be tied directly to the changes in the Pell Grants and Stafford Loans that the Government subsidizes. Those changes opened up a path through college for millions and occurred just before tuition rates started to spiral out of control. Now its good that more young people had access, and there was the limit that a debt, as opposed to a gift, provides; but the unintended consequence was that colleges suddenly had way more students than they needed and that always leads to an increase in price.
     

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