Vouchers and School Choice

Whatever arguments existed against vouchers and the clumsily named school choice, I hope everyone now recognizes that they are dead. Public schools are closed with no plans to reopen. Surely, nobody will argue that only the parents who can afford to pay for private schools deserve to educate their children and keep their jobs, right?

Let’s give everyone an opportunity to move to the private school system if public schools no longer exist in any meaningful way. We are paying taxes to maintain a public school system but if it went out of existence, let’s redirect the money to the people who want to work, both parents and teachers.

26 thoughts on “Vouchers and School Choice”

  1. “nobody will argue that only the parents who can afford to pay for private schools deserve to educate their children and keep their jobs”

    They won’t argue for it, but it’s the policy they are pursuing in a ruthless manner. It’s like open borders, lots of liberals/progressives/leftists say ‘no one’s arguing in favor of open borders’ but then they point blank refuse to articulate or support any policy that isn’t open borders. They want those cheap gardeners and cleaning ladies with no rights and they’re not going to just magically appear… They don’t want bright poor kids to have a chance to compete with their feckless failspawn either.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Whatever arguments existed against vouchers and the clumsily named school choice, I hope everyone now recognizes that they are dead…Surely, nobody will argue that…”

    What in the world are you smoking here, lady??? Don’t you know how much the Teachers’ Unions HATE and FEAR any competition from vouchers and private school choice? Biden’s team has just announced plans to spend $$$$$$$$ on “universal pre-K” classes for 3-year-olds, but any options for “school choice” overseen by that evil billionaire harpy Betsy DeVos (who should be fearfully wearing garlic all over her mortal body now if she hopes to survive a minute beyond Jan 20th) will be hunted down and slaughtered like shithouse rats as soon as Biden’s new regime of Peace and Love and Reconciliation takes power.

    A similar grim death awaits workers who hope to continue to live under various states’ “right to work laws” without being gobbled up by mandatory union memberships that will take their pay and force them to bow to the unions’ greater cause for power with no concern for their own best plans for their future.

    Your quiet suburb, carefully planned and built to hold an optimum maximum number of families, housing units, car traffic, etc, will be forced to triple its population with new high-rise building that will bring in triple the number of occupants, cars, and noise and disruption, without regard to property values and quality of life, all in the name of “social justice,” “diversity,” and “equity of outcome.”

    This is the “New World Order” under which the Democrats plan to “Bring Us All Together,” starting with a national group hug that will feel more like the fatal grasp of a ravenous, multi-tentacled monster who is never going to let his doomed captured frock know freedom or choice again.

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    1. You telling me? I’ve been upset over this since the election. We had a historic chance as a nation to put a pause on this rapid march towards the future that you describe. But we are idiots so we chose to hasten it instead.

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      1. Idiots who celebrated that on the streets, dancing and drinking champagne. I did not realize how brainwashed people are until last weekend. It’s scary.

        I cancelled my union membership last year. It was more about our salaries and benefits when I joined, but it slowly became only about equity and diversity. Coincidentally, a queer activist was hired to lead it. I pray they don’t make me rejoin.

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        1. We are not allowed to leave our union. I wanted to after the union leader publicly accused me of wanting to murder people by coming back to work but it’s impossible.

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  3. For some reason, my grim but truthful comment on the new new Democratic Dark Ages about to roll over America on Jan 20th has been placed in “moderation.” Perhaps Facebook and Twitter have somehow now extended their censorship powers against conservative truths all the way down to the humble WordPress comments on Clarissa’s blog.

    If this is true, the coming doom that none of us can escape is far closer than I feared.

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  4. Reply to: Vouchers and School Choice

    I agree completely, with but one proviso. The “separation of church and state” is critical to our nation. So there must be a provision that vouchers cannot be used, under any circumstances, in religious schools. I am not the only person terrified by the idea of tax-supported religious indoctrination.

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      1. Nobody cares what we want. We are too defective to decide what we want on our own. Our benevolent masters will decide what we should want and make sure we don’t step out of the line.

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        1. It really creeps me out when people go all nuclear on the vouchers/religious schools issue. I can’t help but feel like these people are not actually objecting to public funding ending up at a church. They are objecting to religious education in the only way they can justify it… as a funding issue. But actually, I think these people probably object just as strongly to me taking my kids to church, praying with them at home, and educating them about our faith.

          But out in real life, the second a voucher system went live, there would be private schools of all sorts popping up like mushrooms everywhere. Religious schools, secular schools, all sorts! The only reason they aren’t there now, is because it’s mostly religious people who are willing to make that kind of financial sacrifice to get their kids out of the public schools. Make that option open to everyone, and there will be secular schools to send your kids to, if that’s what you want.

          My area has six religious schools (five Christian, one Muslim) and three private schools for special-needs students, because these are the reasons people are willing to take their kids out of public school and spend their hard-earned money to educate them somewhere else. We’ve had a whole series of attempts at secular private academies– some of which looked very promising (there was one with Mandarin and Spanish language immersion programs), but they don’t stay in business long. Not enough market. Vouchers would change that.

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          1. That’s very clearly explained, thank you. I never knew much about vouchers and didn’t understand the issue. The current situation made it clear that, sadly, the public school system can’t be counted on even just to stay open.

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            1. From the other side of the equation, there’s plenty of reason to be wary of vouchers. There are lots of “OMG state money to churches! Blasphemy!” types who would, if we got vouchers, be looking for every possible opportunity to penalize any religious school accepting them. My sister’s tiny private college went from reasonably-affordable when she was there, to completely out of reach by the time I was college age. That was when they started accepting federal student aid funds. There were all sorts of riders attached to that money, that cost the school bundles of cash, and forced them to raise tuition. All the buildings had to be made handicapped-accessible (these were historic colonial farm buildings), that sort of thing. I wanted to go to school there, but I’m really glad I didn’t: I have not yet earned enough money in my adult life to have paid off the loans.

              People who run small church-affiliated schools have been watching this sort of thing unfold at the college level, and actually have very mixed feelings about accepting vouchers. The general feeling is, if they accept vouchers, they’ll become dependent on the funds, and in very short order, those funds will become a lever to force the school into being “diverse”, “inclusive”, and teaching required units on trendy-buzzword-of-the-month, without regard to whether it conflicts with the religion of the school.

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              1. This is exactly what happened to public colleges! Tuitions are skyrocketing but I swear the money isn’t going to professors. My own little department has lost 4 tenure lines in a decade. That’s a third of what we have. The library is stripped bare. There’s no money for educational materials. We even had to buy low-quality chalk for the boards because there’s no money. It all goes into endless diversity compliance.

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            2. Yes, from the perspective of a church-run private school, IMO accepting vouchers is a trap. Just say no.

              But from the parent perspective: why wouldn’t you allow vouchers for private religious schools? We already have federal student aid for private religious colleges. Why should it be any different at the grade-school level?

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    1. “So there must be a provision that vouchers cannot be used, under any circumstances, in religious schools”.

      Other countries with school choice have religious schools: “In Germany, the Netherlands, England, Northern Ireland, and Sweden, “public funding is provided so that families can choose to send their children to schools with a religious character.”6

      https://www.edchoice.org/engage/faqs/how-does-school-choice-work-in-other-countries/

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  5. What about parents who want their kids to attend a religious school?

    No one should prevent people from sending their children to attend a religious school. No taxpayer should be required to pay for it. The First Amendment is important, and courts have ruled that the freedoms cannot be taken away by state or local governments, not just by Congress.

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    1. Taxpayers are required to pay for things they disagree with all the time. Why should vouchers for religious schools be an exception? And let’s not forget that still a very significant proportion of taxpayers are religious people, many of whom send their children to religious schools. Private school is a private school, no matter who owns it. Finally, every school indoctrinates children into something, whether it is patriotism, religion or (lately) wokeness. Personally, I don’t see much difference.

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  6. Surely, nobody will argue that only the parents who can afford to pay for private schools deserve to educate their children and keep their jobs, right?

    This is literally capitalism. Capitalism works just fine with large numbers of people excluded from the workforce or their wages held artificially down. The Republican position is that if you can’t afford private school by making more money and enjoying the lower taxes, that’s your problem, not everyone else’s.

    Why should my taxpayer money be used to fund public education, which includes explicitly antireligious curricula?
    Why should anybody without school age children pay taxes for school age children to be educated? You chose to have kids, so why should people who don’t have kids or who are done with having kids pay for your choices?
    If you can’t figure out how to fund private school on your own, especially in a state with no state tax, (Florida!), how is that other taxpayers’ problem? Or if you have a family income of $200,000 and one kid, the fact you have trouble affording private school education is not other taxpayers’ either.

    We can play this dumb game all day.

    Besides do you really want to play dumb games with the government? The minute the government thinks they’re funding you, they want to tell you what to do with that money and how to spend it. I know Clarissa hates all that Title IX stuff and that’s wholly because higher institutions of learning rely on that sweet government money from students who can’t afford the school to stay open. Just imagine all the dumb hoops and regulations your religious school is going to follow in order to access sweet federal voucher money. You are naive as hell if you think any government is going to give you a coupon for anything and no strings will be attached.

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    1. It is in the interest of everybody – those with children and without – to have the next generation of people who will work and keep the society functioning at least marginally literate. Currently, children aren’t getting educated. The number of children who are dropping out and falling behind is staggering. What is an alternative to letting people take their tax dollars to private schools? I’m asking in good faith. Let’s forget Democrat or Republican for the moment. There are hundreds of thousands of kids who are being deprived of education. I think it’s an absolute catastrophe. If the idea I’m proposing is no good, that’s fine. What’s a better idea? There are so many kids for whom a year or two out of school means they are never going to catch up. What can be done to get out of this hole?

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    2. Shakti: I homeschool my kids. Nobody else pays for their education. I DO, essentially, fund a private school on my own. It has two students. They are healthy, physically fit, literate, and numerate. And we do it on a household income that is below the federal poverty line. I also fund public schools that my kids don’t attend, because taxes.

      As explained elsewhere in this thread, there are legit concerns about school autonomy involved in taking any government funding. We are in agreement there. If the government offered me my tax money back, to use on my kids’ education, I’d have to think very hard about accepting it. There have already been cases in CA where the state tried to impose expensive school building regulations on private homes, in order to discourage homeschooling. Taking the money (even if it’s MY money!) from that hand would be inviting additional regulation. Probably, I’d say “no”.

      Clearly, it’s complicated.

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