Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The War on Choice

Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Comrade Ted has declared war on the Pro-Choice faction of Ohio – those who which to choose their children’s education. Appearing yesterday on Brian Wilson’s show, the governor decried the voucher program in general, and indicated that only the Cleveland program would survive his administration.

Comrade Ted has declared that they only “choice” you have is limited to selecting your school board. Don’t get me wrong, the school board choice is extremely important, and kudos to Maggie Thurber and Lisa Renee for their board project. But, even if you get every board member you want, the courts and state legislature take a large degree of control away from the local boards – mandating education of some theories (evolution for example) and forbidding the teaching of others. I suppose your choice doesn’t really extend to education after all, only the choice of the liberal elite matters.

Furthermore, why is Cleveland so special? Perhaps because a large, Democratic-voting block of minority parents receive vouchers – to send their children to private and parochial schools at government expense? As I recall, the Cleveland program was indicated as a “trial” program. Well, the trial’s run a while now, it’s time to end it, or expand it state-wide. It sounds like Comrade Ted has a problem with consistency.

For those of you about to suggest that the issue is “means-testing,” the Governor stated his opposition, quite clearly, to the use of “public dollars” in any private institution. I wonder, does the State of Ohio provide grants to any private institution – or is every state dollar spent by the state through governmental agencies. If not, what explains this inconsistency – perhaps the support of the teachers’ unions for Comrade Ted?

If this was really about reducing monies to the schools, let’s take a look at that. Reducing funding to the schools, according to Comrade Ted, will reduce the amount available to educate students. In other words, it would reduce the number of dollars per student. Unfortunately for Comrade Ted, that isn’t the case (perhaps he had the benefit of public school education). The voucher does not pay out more than a private or parochial school’s tuition – which is less than the amount appropriated for the same student in the public school system. Thus, while the total dollars are reduced, so is the student count – and effectively raising the funding per student to the public schools. If you doubt that private schools spend less, compare their tuition rates to the amount spent per student by TPS.

As a basic example to prove my theory – assume a hypothetical public school system of 10 students, and a total funding of $10,000 (numbers simplified to keep the math easier). The total spent per student is ($10,000 / 10 =) $1,000. Now, one local family wants to send their child to a local private school, with tuition of $500. The $500 is subtracted from the total budget, leaving $9,500, and the student is subtracted from the enrollment, leaving 9 students to educate. Now, the total spent per student is $1,055.56 ($950 / 9). Correct me if I’m wrong, but that is more than $1,000. Savings on the expense side would be even greater in a large school system, where teacher layoffs could divert funding to computers, new programs, and such. So, the “reducing the amount of money” argument doesn’t wash. Hmmm, could the teachers’ unions be behind this theory. Anyone, anyone?

Margaritas ante Porcos,
Right Wing Toledo


Hooda Thunkit said...

I think that you've hit it on the head RWT, comrade Teddie does appear to have been educated in a public school system.

Perhaps he's counting on his constituents all being similarly handicapped, so they won't catch on.

He also ranted that he wanted no public money spent anywhere the state has no oversight or control, yet his exemption for Cleveland is contradicting the other side of his mouth.

Ya gotta love it...

-Sepp said...

I wonder what it costs to educate all those home schooled kids? Time and supplies?

Barb said...

I suspect that with the recent attack on abstinence-based sex ed --based on misuse of a recent study by the liberal sex ed crowd-- the social conservatives will renew their push for vouchers. They don't mind attending public ed until the wolves (dems)are in the henhouse (school house) again--dictating their policies.

My report on the misuse of the data on sex ed is over on Noocularoption.

Liberal values in life skills courses,in drug and sex ed, were among the reasons why people left public schools in droves and fought for vouchers.

Maggie Thurber said...

RWT - great example...but you should have mentioned the local property taxes. The state's portion of student funding is the only thing a local district doesn't lose the local property taxes as part of the voucher program, which means that our total property tax/levies get divided by smaller numbers of students resulting in, as per your example, more per-pupil spending.

But I just hate this concept that the public money belongs to the school system instead of to the school child!

Maggie Thurber said...

What I really hate about all of this is the thinking that the public tax dollars belong to the school system instead of to the school child!

what warped thinking this is, indeed.

Right Wing Toledo said...

I hear you Maggie, I noted that Commrade Ted failed to mention that as well. It has never been about the student. How is it that private schools get better results consistently than private schools? It's not socioeconomic status, even schools in "disadvantaged" neighborhoods get better results.

Ted's comments in the interview, about how we can't let some students have a better education if all students won't receive it is perhaps the purist expression of the liberal desire for public schools - dumb down all the kids to the same level (i.e. equality of outcome). Fred on WSPD put it right the next morning, imagine if Ted had been the captain on the Titantic! "Sorry women and children, we don't have enough lifeboats for everyone, so we all get to die!"

If Ted wants to make it fair, given every student a voucher for the equivilent amount that would be spent on them in public school - and watch the exodus. But down that path leads to competition (and as a result - better education), which we all know is the anthesis of the socialism our governor promotes.

mholdri said...

All I have to say about that interveiw is "Capitalism may be the unequal distribution of wealth but socialism is the equal distribution of poverty."

There is certainly a poverty of education and knowledge in public schools.

It seems that Strickland would rather have all suffer than have some prosper. Disgusting!!