Thursday, February 17, 2011

Potential Indiana School Voucher System

Indiana is moving towards allowing students to use a voucher system so they can use their allocated education spending in any way the parents see fit. I support this as a start. This is not as awesome as I expected it to be, and it doesn't seem as universal as the Florida system. Educators, the mainstream media and libs will not support this version of 'choice' and freedom, but that might be the case because publci schools would pay a price for failure to perform up to snuff. Of course they get their buddies on the D side to make a fuss because of the money that the school unions send to the Democrats. I see through this. Steve Jobs sees through this. Here's why.

Why should parents who care about their kids education be forced to suffer through bad public schools beholden to union agreements and huge bureaucracies for any change? Why should they have to pay twice for a good private education: once through taxes for public schools they won't send their kids two and a second time for the private school education? Why should private schooling be out of reach for families who want it but can't pay for the quality? This would really help in metro areas where the wealthier kids can go private while other kids go public. Sure some families wouldn't care, and most likely their kids won't care, but the poorer families who do care can then take their 5K in educational stipend and apply it to the 7K in tuition. I am not a believer in schools and teachers being miracle workers who can take naturally dumb kids and turn them into geniuses, but I do believe a good teaching environment as well as teachers who suffer consequences can make a marginal difference on students. I can see this impacting some coworkers who have kids in marginal schools and want to send them to a Catholic/Christian school but can't afford it. It is letting people be in control of their education dollars.

This would also put public schools on notice. This is why they use scare phrases like "public money shouldn't fund private schools". There would be consequences for not maintaining a safe environment. There would be consequences to keeping terrible teachers. There might be a reason to allow schools to get rid of teachers who a troublesome. There will be trouble for schools in districts with bad reputations with bad students. The kids from families that care about school or smarter kids stuck in bad schools will leave, leaving behind the worst of the worst with less money to spend. This would be like the 25% of Detroit students that graduate leaving before high school, meaning Detroit would be left only with students who never graduate. This would be tough. On the other hand, those people would be left with no other excuse for poor performance. With school choice they could go elsewhere but they chose not to, showing they care little about education.

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