School Vouchers are voted 5 to4!

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Chris, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. Chris

    Chris G&G Evangelist Staff Member Forum Contributor

    Well I am surprised that they were voted constitutional!

    I know have had threads before about this, but I think they are a great idea!

    They tend to offer competition which makes a higher standard for everyone not only certain people.
  2. Hangfire

    Hangfire Guest

    What is a voucher? I keep hearin' talk about 'em but nobody says what they are. Color me stupid.


  3. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    Vouchers deduct funds from public education

    Chris & Hangfire:

    Here's my understanding of the term educational "voucher". The government (Fed, state, local???) shifts public funds which normally go to public education to other groups who propose their own school programs. If I'm correct some of those groups could be parochial schools, private schools, home schools and charter schools. There could be other groups who propose setting up their own school. They may or may not be required to establish educational standards and set up performance goals to be achieved by their program within a certain time frame.

    This all sounds like utopia but there is a cost to American people. Here's what I mean. There is only "X" amount of federal, state and local funds available for public education and when that treasury is dipped into to fund these other programs the result is underfunding of public education.

    Now I believe these alternateive schools listed above have some merit, I also believe some of them are not accountable for their actions on the same basis as public schools. For example, parochial schools may avoid accepting students with handicaps if they choose. They may refuse to accept students with behavioral problems if they want. On the other hand, public schools must educate all students within their boundaries regardless of their mental and physical conditions. This requires specially trained teaching staff's to work with these students. The education of these students can be very costly compared to classes composed of students without special needs.

    Again, any reducing of funds which usually go to public education merely make the challenge to provide a good education to these students even tougher. Not only does reduction in funding affect special needs students but it affects students without special needs equally.

    On the other hand, public schools would be financially pinched considerably more if the existing alternative schools were not available. Thousands and thousands of their students would probably then be enrolled in public schools compounding their financial shortcomings. More buildings, classrooms, teachers, etc. would be required, thus, resulting in higher taxes. So this becomes sort of a catch 22 situation.

    However, I'm giving my support to the public schools which have historically helped educate many underpriviledged, either financially or otherwise, students. Most of us weren't around when only the aristocrats could afford to even attend high schools. Public schools have especially been a friend to students coming from blue collar working class of Americans.

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2002
  4. Chris

    Chris G&G Evangelist Staff Member Forum Contributor

    Oxford, a school voucher is a great thing, it can benefit the generation of today instead of hurting it!

    Well every school gets "X" amount of money per student, at the moment schools get that money reguardless if you send your child to private or puclic or even home taught students! They are getting free money! Locally a school gets almost $5,632.43 per student, so they local high school has 1496 students the total they get before federal tax dollars is $ 847,221,152.28

    That is close to 850 MILLION dollars, now they will take the amount that is assigned for our child and put it towards a voucher for you to put it any where you would like.

    What a voucher does is offer competition, we all know that when something has competition, they want to run more effiecient, and want to run better than their competition (other schools). So the end result we raise the standards to a higher level we get more education for the money, and thats a fabulous thing!
  5. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    This is like comparing "apples to oranges"


    There seems to be a lot of misinformation afloat about public schools and how they're financed.

    I am writing about Missouri public schools only because each state may vary in their funding Plan. A very sophisticated state formula for funding schools has been implemented which has lots of variables affecting funding, and is applied to every public school district.

    In essence, it is tied to local property tax revenue, average daily attendance within each school district, previous funding received through the state foundation plan, and several other factors.

    One important factor is that any "windfall" revenues generated by a school district (for example income from casino's/lotteries) will be deducted from the amount the state pays each school district resulting in a zero benefit.

    If the average daily attendance (ADA) is reduced in a school district (This means the average attendance of all schools within a district), state financial support is reduced accordingly.

    Federal mandates have driven up school operating costs to record setting costs. For example, school buildings had to meet handicap accessiblity standards, students with special needs and "traditional" students had to be educated equally. Building operational costs have spiraled, EPA required the removal of asbestos, lead in paint, lead in glass, putty, and underground storage tanks which drove up costs excessively, and the list of federal mandates goes on and on.

    Comparing costs of public schools to parochial schools, home schools, charter schools, and other voucher schools is like comparing "apples to oranges". They're not currently being held to the same standards. When/if they are held to the same accountability standard as public schools a fairer comparison can be determined.

    As you stated, competition is good, both academically and physically. Will alternative schools offer recreational sports programs? Should public schools eliminate that expense, too, in order to help even the playing field? In Missouri and many other states, I believe these recreational programs are important and wanted by the tax paying public.

    Regarding efficiency in running schools, "economy of scale" definitely applies in education, too. The district in which I am involved has 29 schools and 44 buildings to operate. Costs are definitely kept down by volume buying on a competitive basis. Will voucher schools be able to purchase items as cheaply? I doubt it.

    Regarding "getting more education for your money", do you mean higher achievement levels?, more days of school?, longer hours in the school day?, more students educated? Who will determine those answers? Who will determine that students in voucher schools will get more education for their money, whatever that means?

    This I know for sure. Changes (in education) will occur, regardless of whether it's in public schools or voucher schools. New people will always work toward improving the system. The students deserve the best education possible, regardless of the disagreements of their elders over how best for that to be achieved.

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2002