Grove and AP,
So in effect, it would simply serve to reduce the value of the scholarship the private school offered to the "student" because the state is offering to pick up the tab for at least a portion of that "free ride".
There is some truth to that. Many private schools already give scholarships to these kids that are 6-6, 240 and run a 4.5
Now, they could just accept the voucher money AND grant a scholarship for the remainder. For those few select kids, they just get an extra $7K of funds.
And there you have it.
Although one of my more cynical friends remarked the other day that perhaps some of these more expensive private schools might be inclined to accept the $7K and even provide transportation, too.
Provided of course the child in question was 6'6', 240 pounds, and runs a 4.5.
Maybe I'm off, but when actually reading some of the language in the bill, I am wondering what private school would want to take on the additional costs associated with jumping through the bureaucratic hoops required to receive said vouchers. Add in admin time + money and only a portion of the $7,000 would actually go towards the child's education. In order to offset the admin/application costs, it would behoove the participating school to accept as many vouchers as possible.
There are also the administration costs that are being footed by the taxpayers. The department of education is required to develop the procedures and administer the program. These activities will include (but will not be limited to):
Providing notice to parents of student eligibility and of participating schools
Accepting applications from parents of eligible students and award scholarships to eligible students (depending on the number of applications, that could be quite a pile of applications to review!)
Determining and approving school eligibility and participation
Determining and approving student eligibility and participation
Remitting scholarship payments
Annually publishing, information for scholarship recipients for each participating school (such as achievement results, including student growth; the graduation rate, as applicable; and the retention rate)
Making information available on the department's website to inform parents of eligible students of all available scholarship options and provide an opportunity for parents to apply to other participating schools
Berclair, here is the chalkbeat artcile from which I gathered that anybody can get the vouchers
It says "71 million-a-year proposal to allow public dollars to go toward private education services could reshape schools across the state, offering low-income and affluent parents alike unprecedented school choice."
It's clear why: they know very well, that poor parents can't afford private schools even with the $7K help.
Here is a summary of the bill before the Senate Education Committee amended it.
Note the requirements for any private school to be approved for voucher money.
@Grove and Living
Here are the amendments filed to Senator Kelsey's bill. This was the version that passed out of the Senate Education Committee.
I think they will answer your questions.
These amendments mean the bill applies to SCS only, not any of the suburban districts, and homeschooling is not included for any voucher.
Does anyone know if the voucher money in all these bills can be spent on homeschooling?
To be fair, I think the vouchers proposed would be limited to certain socio-economic groups, meaning that people who have their kids in private schools today or even the middle class, won't have access to that $7000.
Ultimately, very few people would be able to use the vouchers at all.
The idea is that somehow private schools are better at education simply because they provide better results. That's correlation, not causation. The reason private schools provide positive results is because those who attend them come from educated families, thus education is going to be emphasized by the parents, especially when doling out $20K a year for schooling. The other advantage they have is smaller class sizes.
You could take every kid from Sheffield High School and put them in a new "private" school, and the results wouldn't be much different than they are in the public school, because the inputs are the same. To the extent that you can take motivated and intelligent kids out of tough public schools, and put them into charters or private schools, the outcome for those kids will certainly improve. However, it still leaves a lot behind.
Ultimately though, the question is whether or not that's a bad thing. I've often advocated that if we wanted to be serious, we would stratify kids early and put weaker students on paths to work in the trades, while putting the stronger students on university paths. That seems un-American in a way though, so it'll never happen. If we were going to be serious about improving education though, that's how you'd do it.
Lemme do the exact numbers for this mathematically obviously challenged priest.
I checked the four best known private schools in Memphis, and the tuition in each is $20K. With the $7K voucher, a poor parent would have to shell out, just in tuition alone, $13K. That's more than $1,000 per month per child. I certainly can't afford that. Who can?
Since the voucher can be used by anybody, the rich and only the rich will use it. So let's not call this a voucher but an "education aid to the rich".
That is exactly right.
What vouchers say is that we intend to allow some children to better their education while also saying that betterment will come at the expense of other children. Social Darwinism in practice. Those who have won the genetic lottery by having better brainpower, and perhaps better parenting as well, have a chance to seek better schooling. To those that are left behind: "well, sorry, that's really too bad for you."
Taking dollars away from public schools and giving them to private schools is a lazy and foolish way to bypass the hard work of actually improving public schools.
If Trump had known about this dodo, he could have appointed him Education Secretary to match the idiot he appointed to head HUD.
My bet is that you will not see many new private schools popping up. In the first place, those schools will have to get state approval to open and that is not so easy. Secondly, the finances, without a lot of kids to fill seats, will not work, as Slick Wille found out with his charter effort. Third, the state regulatory requirements on any school who accepts these vouchers is burdensome.
What I expect, if the bill is passed, is that the Jubilee schools, who already exist and already have locations in the inner city, will get some students. How many, nobody knows, but nothing like 5K. My guess is less than 1000. Probably much less.
And that will be about it. As you point out, no expensive private school is going to take 7K when they can fill the seat at much more. Secondly, there are two major issues with any private school not already located in the inner city. First, how will the student take his voucher and get to the new school? Secondly, will that student be able to do the work once he gets there? And that is assuming the private school wants to accept more regulatory burdens.
I'm not a voucher fan, because I just don't think it'll work.
For one thing, these kids aren't going to take their vouchers and enroll in St. George's. St. George's won't be taking kids for $7000 a year. It's more than double that, and the parents who are eligible for vouchers won't be able to afford the difference.
Instead, what you'll get are new private schools popping up to take advantage of the demand. That's not necessarily a bad thing for those kids, but it does mean that more parents who want better for their kids will be taking them out of the public system.
That's essentially what's already happening with charters. When you add vouchers on top of charters, you're creating a situation where the public school kids left behind are in even worse schools with lesser funding than they have today.
While I think it helps the kids whose families are poor but have a desire for better for their children, it still leaves a big gaping hole for a number of kids and actually makes things worse for them.
I don't think there are any easy solutions, but I'm not a big proponent of this effort.
Vouchers are a wonderful meeting between the corrupt and clueless members of our governance. The rest of the rich countries and even the no so wealthy (from whom we seem to recruit many of out learned classes) are able to educate their children better than the US. Where we seem to excel is in our universities. Which does show how assbackwards our methods are, underpaying and underfunding our primary educators while coddling the administrators and PhDs.
Vouchers won't help this, but it will enrich some while turning out generations of fantastically ignorant Americans.
People being like they are, most folks would rather go for a nice grilled Reuben with imported Swiss, over a thoroughly adequate PB&J for lunch, as long as somebody else is buying. I am not so certain what the results would be, if we tell them we will subsidize a third of the bill, but require that they pick up the rest on their own.
I am also not so sure that the added cost would necessarily lead to better educational nutrition either. Hmmm...
Yeah, I have never heard of any of our children say they reason they feel no moral obligation to obey or conform to ur social expectations is because we are only willing to fund $7k in voucher money.
But perhaps I have not been listening as well as I should have.
Is there a figure the children will accept as indicating society's investment is sufficient so they will then begin to obey and conform?
So wait, this bill defunds public schools AND makes children seeking private school unable to afford it?
If this is how little we as a society are willing to invest in them, why would we be surprised that they feel no moral obligation to obey or conform to our social expectations?
By Chris McCoy
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