Friday, September 10, 2004

School choice

Under no child left behind, schools have been allowed to mix it up a bit. And the public is trying to make up its mind on the act

In the poll, 43 percent of people said they would be more likely to vote for a national candidate who supports private-school vouchers, the largest response for that question.

Private-school vouchers continue to lack majority support, according to the authors of the poll's summary. Asked if they favor or oppose allowing students and parents to choose a private school to attend at public expense, 54 percent opposed the idea; 42 favored it."



On the issue of private school vouchers, it is the parents money. They are the ones who have paid the taxes. If I choose to send my kid to a private school or home school, I should not have to pay the public school component of state and local taxes or I should get that money back in a form of a voucher (not pay the taxes in the first place would be more efficient). If you send you kid to public school, the state allocates that money to the school based on attendance. If you don't send you kid to public school, that per head rate is just increased.

I think taxpayers should not fund schools. Every parent should be responsible for paying the fees associated with school (or as much as possible). The PTA would become a sounding board for consumer complaints. The state or private charities could fund scholarships for the children that need to go to school, but cannot afford it. Parents paying directly for school would provide incentive for parents to get involved with their children schooling, provide incentives for parents to find ways to make their children get their money's worth out of school, make schools answer directly to the parents, and would allow parents to price shop trying to get the best value.

cube

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

And with that...

literacy plummets
the unskilled labor force explodes
poverty skyrockets
crime increases

Do you have ANY clue how many parents would play an uniformed cost-benefit game between "Does my kid need to finish high school?" and "That's a sexy car." in your scenario?

Universal education benefits EVERYBODY, and since we know that many parents wouldn't comprehend this when actually faced with the decision, education needs to be funded publically.

That isn't to say that making education a more competitive market through vouchers wouldn't be good... but fully privatizing the funding for education would be disasterous.

Andrew said...

Crap. That was me.

Cubicle said...

"Do you have ANY clue how many parents would play an uniformed cost-benefit game between "Does my kid need to finish high school?" and "That's a sexy car." in your scenario?"

uniformed, dumb, uncaring, or just plain bad parents.

"and since we know that many parents wouldn't comprehend this when actually faced with the decision, education needs to be funded publically."

So the people who know better, should fund goverment sponsed efforts to help those who don't know any better.

I think we got the heart of the matter very quickly. You seem to lean toward protecting people from their own ignorace or stupidity. I lean toward people accepting their own actions and not wasteing the resouces of others.

As a side note, it would be very easy for a person to go back to school, all they would have to do is go registor and pay the money theirselves. It would be like college. You take some placement tests, and then you start where you left off. I think in the long term it would create a cultural of learning, respect for learning, and make the system more effiecnet.

Also, their does not seem to be a market for low cost private schools, which vouchers could help solve. If a slow transition happened to fully privatized system of schools, none of the things you said would happen at all.

Kokopelli said...

Wasn't it Jefferson who said that an educated citizenry is necessary for a democracy to flourish? (Or something similar?) Free and accessible public education is necessary to the benefit of the commonweal, a concept lost on most conservatives and every Libertarian. Vouchers deprive the commonweal and only serve to subsidize the wealthy at the expense of the disenfranchised. Voucher will not enable poor folks to suddenly be able to afford private schools. Why? Because private schools will immediately raise their prices due to the increased demand. I would expect the new rates to be in the neighborhood of the old rates plus the voucher subsidy. The end result is that the same kids will end up going to private schools as before. However, the public school system will have far less money to educate the same number of kids.

A secondary issue here is the treating of education as a business with a product to produce. While that model does hold some weight, it is a dangerous road to follow too long as it commoditizes our kids. After all, the school-as-business model will seek out more customers (parents) to increase profits (garnered by tuitions and potentially vouchers). In order to attract more customers the school/business must make its product (well-educated students) more attractive than the competition. To do this it must eliminate any defects which could harm that image. Thing is, that defect is likely to be a kid who isn't learning too well or is, perhaps, less likely to fit the mold of a well-behaved cog in the educational machine. "Sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Smith but your little Johnny is bringing down our curve and the new brochures are due out next quarter so: bye."

Vouchers? Hell, no!

But let us not confuse vouchers with school choice. There are many charter schools within the public school system which are showing that different educational methods can be very successful. Interestingly, this is precisely the situation our dear cube has pointed us to in his first link. Choice, not vouchers, within the public school system.

-- Kokopelli

Cubicle said...

"Vouchers"

so don't give the parents the money that they state would have paid for their kids anyways.

so don't give the parents the money that they paid into the educational system.

If i want to home or private school my kids, i get double taxed. The public school tax, and then i have to pay for the private schooling that i am doing.

"Because private schools will immediately raise their prices due to the increased demand. "

well, if the goverment would allow news schools to be created easily that demand would be met if there was an incentive to met that demand.

Kokopelli said...

"'Vouchers'

so don't give the parents the money that they state would have paid for their kids anyways.

so don't give the parents the money that they paid into the educational system."

That's one way of putting it if you want to mischaracterize what general fund taxes are. Using your methodology, cube, I should be reimbursed for that portion of tax money spent to maintain the road upon which I do NOT drive. I should receive a refund for moneys spent to maintain monuments and parks I've never visited. And why should my money go to pay the salaries of the congressmen from OTHER districts?

I understand your desire to be more hands-on with the education of your child. Good for you. But when you voluntarily withdraw from "the system" the system owes you nothing.

Cubicle said...

Now you are getting it.

"I should be reimbursed for that portion of tax money spent to maintain the road upon which I do NOT drive."

no, the only money to pay for roads should come from a gasoline tax (they more you drive the more you pay). desil taxes can be higher. you should not charge fees associated with licenses and tags (execpt to pay for the adminastrive cost of making them and handing them out)

"I should receive a refund for moneys spent to maintain monuments and parks I've never visited."
Nope, you taxes should not go to fund those anyways. they should just charge a higher admissions price. If no one wants their product, why are the tax payers supporting somthing no one uses (same with libaries).

"And why should my money go to pay the salaries of the congressmen from OTHER districts? "
good point.

"But when you voluntarily withdraw from "the system" the system owes you nothing.""

and you should owe the system nothing.