Texas Private School Vouchers

The academics in public education have eroded over the past 60 years but the consistent difference between public campuses and private ones is not the academics but more importantly it’s the social policies that are tearing down the family unit.

Our children attended the local elementary school for 5 years and then a local private school for the next 10 years. One child returned to the public HS to finish the last 3 years there.  I have seen both sides of this coin.  What I saw in the private school was traditional reading and arithmetic in the elementary grades and strength in moral skills (Biblical teachings), with much responsibility put on the parents to comply with the school’s moral standards that were very clearly outlined.  Our current public school policies will not allow Biblical standards to be taught with public funds.  Even if they were, you can’t legislate these actions with success.  Public money will push socialist agendas and will only serve to increase the number of poorly performing schools and lessen the choices of private schools.  When Biblical scripture is taught in public schools again it will be a safe time to look at vouchers.

The way private schools operate can be fairly considered under the free-market principle.  Those that are over-priced or that under-deliver, go out of business.  What if public money (through vouchers) is funneled to one of these poorly managed private schools?  Will the public money be just enough to keep the doors open and merely increase the number of poorly performing campuses?  Could this scenario play out over and over again until there are no longer any quality private campuses because of the vouchers (like ObamaCare is doing to the private physicians today)?  

There are several different scenarios that could come out of vouchers:

·  Who will decide who gets a voucher, the government or some unelected bureaucrat?  Then you have government once again picking winners and losers and the free market choices are diminished.

·   Will vouchers be offered to all children ages 4 through 18 or just those in a household under a certain income level?

·   How will home schoolers fit in this picture?

·   Eventually will all private schools be required to accept vouchers or pay a “penalty or tax”?

·  Will the private school accrediting agencies be required to conform to the same failing social and academic policies that have ruined our public schools[1]? 

·  I can see all KINDS of lawsuits over this and it will most likely ruin the private educational system by draining their capital with lengthy suits being drug through the courts, taking away yet another “choice” we currently may enjoy.

·  With our Texas Constitution being amended every two years, and the political tide ever changing, how often will the Texas Legislature and the Texas State Board of Education pass policies to dictate (water down) the academics and social standards?  How can I be assured that voucher policies of today will stand the test of time for my posterity?

Three characteristics stood out to me at the church subsidized private school our children attended:

1.) Discipline

2.) Biblical teachings (moral values taught – the right kind of moral values)

3.) Parental Support: Every child had one or more involved parents backing up what was taught at the school.  In other words, the teacher is right and you must learn how to get along in the classroom.  No second guessing authority.

Now I ask you, do you see one of these three characteristics going without criticism if public funds are used at this campus?  Perhaps so in the beginning, but the private school could mold their programs around the revenue obtained from public funds over time and then they are locked into abiding by the ever changing government guidelines in order to continue the public revenue flow.  It’s that frog in the boiling water that I see.  As I stated above, I also question how the accrediting agencies that now serve our private Texas schools will have to be remodeled to fit the voucher program.

If the private schools are turning out better educated students then the public schools need to look at WHY and copy their template, not the other way around.

It’s just a bad idea and throwing more money at a bad problem – more of the same business as usual.

 IN MY OPINION:

Inner city kids will always be at a disadvantage.  Lots of rural kids will always be at a disadvantage.  It’s not because of anything the outside forces do to them.  It’s what’s present or not present in the home. The evil environments are present in the best of neighborhoods.  I believe that “character” dictates one’s path in life, or put another way, spiritual choices dictate one’s path.  Both are intertwined.  So, if the tentacles of public money, regardless of whether it’s federal or state, are allowed to slowly creep into our private institutions, we will surely render more campuses just like the public ones we have now by converting the private school policies into the public school policies.

TWO CHARACTERISTISCS THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN LEGISLATED SUCCESSFULLY:

1.) Morality

2.) Stupidity

Governments can pass laws to make my neighbors live up to my moral expectations but the removal of individual liberty to choose one’s path in life is not worth removing my individual liberty to do so.  Besides, the legislation to make my neighbor comply with my moral standards has never been successful. 

Likewise, individuals will continue to repeat the same stupid mistakes without gaining wisdom and no amount of legislation can change this.  Look at DWI laws and the laws against marijuana consumption.  We still have drunk drivers and children as well as adults that smoke pot.  Increasing the size and scope of government through more legislation is detrimental to individual liberty.[2]

Tell your state Representative and your state Senator to vote NO to School Vouchers, in any form whatsoever.   Preserve what choices remain in private education.  My posterity is counting on your participation in this arena.

Vouchers a bad bargain for private schools

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/09/10/4247292/vouchers-a-bad-bargain-for-private.html#storylink=cpy

SENATOR PATRICK NAMED CHAIR OF SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEEhttp://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/members/dist7/pr12/p100412a.pdf


[1] TEPSAC Accrediting Agencies http://www.tepsac.org/agencies.cfm

[2] Legislation; What Are the Consequences?  http://89erpride.com/2012/08/legislation-what-are-the-consequences/

 

 

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