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  #1  
Old Jun 7, '10, 6:20 am
CPA2 CPA2 is offline
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Default School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

Catholic schools cannot compete with “free” public education. The answer to better education and higher teacher salaries is competition.

“Public” education does not need more money; it already has too much money, even in poor states. The United States spends more money per student than most other countries in the world; however, the academic performance is worse than other countries. More money for education is not the answer. “Public” education is inefficient and ineffective.

The answer is to take the power from the state governments and give the power to the parents in the form of universal vouchers. Friedman proposed vouchers as a way to separate government financing of education from government administration of schools. The “public” schools would now have to please the parents instead of the state legislature. Viva la competition!

I see universal school vouchers as inevitable. School vouchers are a 50 year-old idea that is backed by solid economic research. Means-tested vouchers for poor families and failing school vouchers have already been tried with great success. All we need now is a test of universal school vouchers.

The only real opposition to universal school vouchers is the education bureaucracy and teachers’ unions. When people strongly support universal school vouchers, they come up against the teachers' unions and the educational bureaucracy, the government civil service.

I am not advocating shutting the doors of public education, just opening more doors of private education.

The parents will vote with their school vouchers. They will decide which public schools will stay open and which public schools will close. Additionally, many new private schools will open. New schools will give parents even more choices. Why should the state have a monopoly on education?


Seven possible objections to the school voucher plan and Milton Friedman’s answer to those objections:

1. The church-state issue. “…Vouchers would go to parents, not to schools. Under the GI bills, veterans have been free to attend Catholic or other colleges and, so far as we know, no First Amendment issue has ever been raised.”

2. Financial cost. “…(There is) present discrimination against parents who send their children to nonpublic schools. Universal vouchers would end the inequity of using tax funds to school some children but not others.”
3. The possibility of fraud. ‘…The voucher would have to be spent in an approved school or teaching establishment and could be redeemed for cash only by such schools.”

4. The racial issue. “Discrimination under a voucher plan can be prevented at least as easily as in public schools by redeeming vouchers only from schools that do not discriminate.”

5. The economic class issue. “Some have argued that the great value of the public school has been as a melting pot, in which rich and poor, native- and foreign-born, back and white have learned to live together. That image…is almost entirely false for large cities. There, the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location. It is no accident that most of the country’s outstanding public schools are in high-income enclaves.”

6. Doubt about new schools. “What reason is there to suppose that alternatives will really arise? The reason is that a market would develop where it does not exist today…The one prediction that can be made is that only those schools that satisfy their customers will survive…Competition would see to that.”

7. The impact on public schools. “The threat to public schools arises from their defects, not their accomplishments. In small, closely knit communities where public schools, particularly elementary schools, are now reasonably satisfactory, not even the most comprehensive voucher plan would have much effect…But elsewhere, and particularly in the urban slums where the public schools are doing such a poor job, most parents would undoubtedly try to send their children to nonpublic schools.”
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  #2  
Old Jun 7, '10, 7:00 am
WatchingMedia WatchingMedia is offline
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

Many public school teachers and their Unions do not want vouchers.
Vouchers might help some poor kids get a better education.
Parents would send their children to wherever they could get the best education. - competition.
If the public schools were doing their jobs, there would be no issues, since then many parents would not use vouchers.
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  #3  
Old Jun 7, '10, 7:11 am
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pnewton pnewton is offline
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

You know I would be happy if I could at least deduct my Catholic school tuitition from my school tax. Even an income tax deduction would help. Right now, lower income and some middle income families are given no educational choices.

I know that the public school has burdens placed on them by special needs children that will always mean they cost more, but treating tuition like the same as a purchase of a boat for tax purposes is ridiculous. This sort of inequity can only exist because of the politcal pressure of an education system that looks after its own interest primarily and the interest of the children secondarily.
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  #4  
Old Jun 7, '10, 8:10 am
manualman manualman is offline
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

I think the way to defeat the NEA storm troopers on this issue is with basic economics. You simply prove that EVERYBODY wins with modest vouchers. Public schools spent an embarassing amount of money. By me, the average is $14,500 per student on average (total revenue divided by kids). Now I grant that special needs kids skew this number drastically, so let's say for the sake of discussion that the public school system spends about $7,000 a year for regular students. Offer a $2,800 voucher for private schooling. If the District currently has 10,000 regular ed kids and there are 600 kids in local private schools, the District is spending $70 million a year.

Implement the program and in the first year all the private schools max out their capacity and take in 1,000 kids. Now the District is spending $67.2 million on their own expenses and $2.8 million on vouchers. Revenue nuetral.

The next year a new school opens due to the program. Now 1,300 use private schools. District spends $3.64 million on vouchers and is now left with $7,135.48 per student in the public schools.

That's right! Vouchers, if modest at first, would actually result in LARGER funding levels for students remaining in the public school system. The voucher amount could be increased as more private schools opened and still leave big funding increases for the remaining public students.

Everybody wins - except the empire building NEA types who want a monopoly on indoctrinating our kids.
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  #5  
Old Jun 7, '10, 8:17 am
JohnDamian JohnDamian is offline
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

Coming from England; I think this would be a great idea (although I was temporarily confused; because here when we say public school we mean a private one (seriously))

It does not seem unreasonable that since the state already pays X amount of money per pupil that instead of spending this on a uniform type of school it would be able to distribute this in the form of vouchers - many private schools function better purely because of a lack of overal control. It also frees up parents to choose where to send there children. Of course, such measures would have to be regulated (same exam boards) to make sure qualifications meant the same from all areas.

I also think this would lead to smaller schools, with less beuracracy and a more social feeling. Coming from a high school that had only 250 pupils from ages 5 to 18 I can say it was much better than the anonymity and lack of unity in many "normal" schools.

I know this from experience, because I was privatly educated in an Anglican school - which acheives 96% 5 A-C Acheivement including (Maths, English) which is over twice the national average (about 45%) -- even though the school fees were less than the average state allocated funds for "normal" high schools.

It would be great if more parents had the freedom to choose where to send pupils - why should politicians decide?

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  #6  
Old Jun 7, '10, 8:59 am
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Brendan Brendan is offline
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

My main concern about vouchers is that it's the camel's nose under the tent.

I see what happens in Canada. There, a person can choose if they pay property tax to the public school system, or the Catholic school system.

It has really opened the door for governmental control over what is taught and how. It's been a real fight for the bishops to do re-take control over the curriculum. Case in point is a recent attempt by the government of Ontario to add positive portrayals of homosexuality and sodomy to the the requried sex ed curriculum.


On the colegiate side, the courts have said that universities that accept collegiate vouchers, such as Pell grants, affect who colleges may and may not hire.
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  #7  
Old Jun 7, '10, 9:49 am
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pnewton pnewton is offline
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

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Originally Posted by Brendan View Post
My main concern about vouchers is that it's the camel's nose under the tent.

I see what happens in Canada. There, a person can choose if they pay property tax to the public school system, or the Catholic school system.
It is a concern. However, if the vouchers went to the parents, I think it would provide insulation from this intrusion. Better yet, if a tax credit (even partial) against school taxes were permitted, no money would go to the school.
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  #8  
Old Jun 7, '10, 8:56 pm
stinkcat_14 stinkcat_14 is online now
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

It is most certainly not the government's job to provide Catholic Education. It is the church's job.
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  #9  
Old Jun 8, '10, 5:09 am
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pnewton pnewton is offline
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

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It is most certainly not the government's job to provide Catholic Education. It is the church's job.
Yes, which is why I would like to see Catholic Education made more available as a parental option. "The government" is us. We pay taxes. Where is the justice in having to paying twice for the education of one's child in accordance with one's conscience?
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  #10  
Old Jun 8, '10, 6:35 am
stinkcat_14 stinkcat_14 is online now
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

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Originally Posted by pnewton View Post
Yes, which is why I would like to see Catholic Education made more available as a parental option. "The government" is us. We pay taxes. Where is the justice in having to paying twice for the education of one's child in accordance with one's conscience?
The just solution would be to take education totally out of government control. Government has no business paying for or providing education. Close down the government schools and force parents to pay for their own kids education. Perhaps we can jail them if they don't.
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  #11  
Old Jun 8, '10, 7:45 am
CPA2 CPA2 is offline
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

I've always liked what Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple Computers)had to say about vouchers. This is from an interview in 1996, so adjust dollar figures accordingly. Link to complete interview is at the bottom.

Q: Could technology help by improving education?

A: I used to think that technology could help education. I've probably spearheaded giving away more computer equipment to schools than anybody else on the planet. But I've had to come to the inevitable conclusion that the problem is not one that technology can hope to solve. What's wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology. No amount of technology will make a dent.

It's a political problem. The problems are sociopolitical. The problems are unions. You plot the growth of the NEA [National Education Association] and the dropping of SAT scores, and they're inversely proportional. The problems are unions in the schools. The problem is bureaucracy. I'm one of these people who believe the best thing we could ever do is go to the full voucher system.

I have a 17-year-old daughter who went to a private school for a few years before high school. This private school is the best school I've seen in my life. It was judged one of the 100 best schools in America. It was phenomenal. The tuition was $5,500 a year, which is a lot of money for most parents. But the teachers were paid less than public school teachers - so it's not about money at the teacher level. I asked the state treasurer that year what California pays on average to send kids to school, and I believe it was $4,400. While there are not many parents who could come up with $5,500 a year, there are many who could come up with $1,000 a year.

If we gave vouchers to parents for $4,400 a year, schools would be starting right and left. People would get out of college and say, "Let's start a school." You could have a track at Stanford within the MBA program on how to be the businessperson of a school. And that MBA would get together with somebody else, and they'd start schools. And you'd have these young, idealistic people starting schools, working for pennies.

They'd do it because they'd be able to set the curriculum. When you have kids you think, What exactly do I want them to learn? Most of the stuff they study in school is completely useless. But some incredibly valuable things you don't learn until you're older - yet you could learn them when you're younger. And you start to think, What would I do if I set a curriculum for a school?

God, how exciting that could be! But you can't do it today. You'd be crazy to work in a school today. You don't get to do what you want. You don't get to pick your books, your curriculum. You get to teach one narrow specialization. Who would ever want to do that?

These are the solutions to our problems in education. Unfortunately, technology isn't it. You're not going to solve the problems by putting all knowledge onto CD-ROMs. We can put a Web site in every school - none of this is bad. It's bad only if it lulls us into thinking we're doing something to solve the problem with education.

Lincoln did not have a Web site at the log cabin where his parents home-schooled him, and he turned out pretty interesting. Historical precedent shows that we can turn out amazing human beings without technology. Precedent also shows that we can turn out very uninteresting human beings with technology.

It's not as simple as you think when you're in your 20s - that technology's going to change the world. In some ways it will, in some ways it won't.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/4.02/jobs_pr.html
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  #12  
Old Jun 8, '10, 8:08 pm
Major Tom Major Tom is offline
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

Quote:
Originally Posted by manualman View Post
I think the way to defeat the NEA storm troopers on this issue is with basic economics. You simply prove that EVERYBODY wins with modest vouchers. Public schools spent an embarassing amount of money. By me, the average is $14,500 per student on average (total revenue divided by kids). Now I grant that special needs kids skew this number drastically, so let's say for the sake of discussion that the public school system spends about $7,000 a year for regular students. Offer a $2,800 voucher for private schooling. If the District currently has 10,000 regular ed kids and there are 600 kids in local private schools, the District is spending $70 million a year.

Implement the program and in the first year all the private schools max out their capacity and take in 1,000 kids. Now the District is spending $67.2 million on their own expenses and $2.8 million on vouchers. Revenue nuetral.

The next year a new school opens due to the program. Now 1,300 use private schools. District spends $3.64 million on vouchers and is now left with $7,135.48 per student in the public schools.

That's right! Vouchers, if modest at first, would actually result in LARGER funding levels for students remaining in the public school system. The voucher amount could be increased as more private schools opened and still leave big funding increases for the remaining public students.

Everybody wins - except the empire building NEA types who want a monopoly on indoctrinating our kids.
One thing not taken into account in that example is that, for the public schools, when enrollment goes down, upkeep and maintenance costs for buildings remains the same. So that per-student multiplier you used does not paint the entire picture.

No one likes to see neighborhood schools close. It's very difficult to keep schools open at an optimal rate of students-to-teachers, and students compared to building capacity.
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  #13  
Old Jun 8, '10, 8:20 pm
Major Tom Major Tom is offline
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPA2 View Post
Most of the stuff they study in school is completely useless.
________________________________________
I'd love to hear some specific examples of this "uselessness". Did your fabulous school utilize a "uselessness-free" curriculum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPA2 View Post
You'd be crazy to work in a school today.
________________________________________
I'm in the middle of a career change, and plan on working in schools. I know there are problems with them, and would like to be part of the solution. That's crazy?
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  #14  
Old Jun 9, '10, 6:21 am
manualman manualman is offline
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

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Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
One thing not taken into account in that example is that, for the public schools, when enrollment goes down, upkeep and maintenance costs for buildings remains the same. So that per-student multiplier you used does not paint the entire picture.

No one likes to see neighborhood schools close. It's very difficult to keep schools open at an optimal rate of students-to-teachers, and students compared to building capacity.
While this is very true, it is far less a problem than you paint it to be. Building maintenance is a tiny fraction of District budgets. If enrollment declines to the point where a school closing is necessary, it is likely because those students have moved to either a brand new school or a school that a private entity bought from the District when it previously closed. In either case, no big deal.

In my area, the District redraws school boundaries about every 2-3 years anyway due to capacity issues and their constant attempts to jerrymander boundaries to "increase diversity." It seems to me that this would just be more of the same.

Thank you for your efforts to educate our kids. I am not anti-public schools. I just fail to see any inherent reason for public and private schools to be enemies. All reasons cited that I've ever heard are revealed to be mere tribalism when examined closely.
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  #15  
Old Jun 9, '10, 7:06 am
CPA2 CPA2 is offline
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Default Re: School Vouchers and Catholic Schools

Parents, voting with their school vouchers, will determine what schools close.

Most of the insane amounts of money that the state pays for education never reaches the teacher. I toured the new education building in our state capital. I did not see any teaching going on in that "education" building!

Government education (K-12) is a failure and a joke. Many of the state's colleges are now nothing more than glorified high schools.

The real educating is going on in homeschooling. Homeschooled children are better educated and better socialized than their government schooled counter parts.
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