Saturday, June 09, 2007

School Vouchers : You mean rich people from out of state won't be deciding for us?

Yup, the sad thing is we Utahns are going to have to decide for ourselves. Stupid Supreme Court. Taking the decision out of the hands of the lobbyists and legislators and putting it in the hands of the people. Bad Supreme Court! Naughty, naughty Zut, uh I mean Justices. (Let's not take that Freudian slip to fruition).
Front page of the Salt Lake Tribune : "Vouchers : You decide" In a somewhat unheard of turn of events, the Utah Supreme Court issued it's ruling the same day as it heard arguments. The November referendum WILL decide the fate of school vouchers in Utah; if the people of Utah vote against school vouchers it will kill BOTH bills passed by the legislature. None of this "well, you voted down the one bill, but by some quirky circumstances this second bill, passed just to fix things on the first bill, will stand on it's own and we will still implement the vouchers you voted against. Sorry about that folks."
Just in case my bias has not come through so far - I am against school vouchers. Not just because I'm a public school teacher, or because $3,000 isn't going to help a family of 6 living on $26,000 afford the $10,000 for private school tuition or because (this is a theory of my sisters' that I adopted) we could see a whole bunch of fly-by-night private schools pop up out of nowhere that will "educate" your students for little more than that $3,000. My main argument against school vouchers is that they are supposed to foster competition, but how can you have competition between to entities that play by different rules? Public schools have physical boundaries, in which we are required to take every student that resides there, regardless of their mental, physical, parental and economic capabilities. We cannot say "oh, sorry, our school is full, find some other place for your kid", we have to make the room somewhere. We have to provide services for the students that have special needs, we have to provide free lunches and other financial help for required fees to students that do not have the economic means to pay for them. Private schools may, and I know some do, give this extra support, but they are not required to do it. I could go on all day citing requirements on the public school system that give private schools the advantage in a competitive market, (other than cost, of course), but it boils down to the fact that because of state and federal regulations private and public schools do not play on a level field, giving private schools the overall advantage. Which is why people are willing to pay the tuition in the first place - private schools are less encumbered by the distractions inherent in public schools.
There's your topic - discuss.

2 comments:

A Paperback Writer said...

I smiled at the Zut reference. :)
And I am absolutely stunned that the Court actually made a logical decision! Truly. I never thought it would come to this. Of course, there's still the fact that the Dark Side (oh, am I not obvious here: I'm a public school teacher; therefore I am against vouchers) has TONS of out of state money to use to convince the average Jane to join them and vote against all common sense. Grass roots time it is, folks.
Now, I'm not a union member, and, in general, I don't like unions. BUT, I've already written a check to help the union in advertising common sense. And I'll probably write more checks later.
Odd, though, isn't it? I don't have any kids, but I'm paying to fund advertising to help future generations have access to a decent education.
I bet you are, too -- although at least your nieces and nephews live in this state (mine don't, and only one is still school age anyway. Strange thing, though: my brother has a good deal more money than you and I'll ever see in a lifetime, but HE SENT ALL HIS KIDS TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS BECAUSE HE BELIEVES IT'S THE BEST WAY TO EDUCATE KIDS ABOUT THE REAL WORLD. Isn't that amazing? Not really. My brother has common sense, too. And he knows that the same schools that you and I both attended -- bless their little red and white hearts -- gave him the education he needed to make it all the way to CEO of a huge international corporation and get interviewed by important business magazines. Pretty dang good for a public school grad, eh?
Okay, I'll stop ranting now. (But you knew I'd rant when you posted this.)

Max said...

Hey, I counted on your ranting when I posted that one! Thanks for not letting me down :)
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And thanks for the lead-in to a subject I'm going to post on later - want to get my thoughts and arguments down first - but as a teaser I'll just say that like you, I am not a member of our so-called union either.