Tuition Tax Vouchers
Once upon a time, I was a good little liberal, thinking that real Americans sent their kids to the public schools while only elitists sent their kids to private schools. Then I became a parent and found out just how wrong I was. And we have good schools where we live. The elementary school just wasn’t right for my kids.
Over the three years we used the local primary school, the administration demonstrated in oh-so-many ways that our kids’ special needs were of absolutely no concern to them. And given that it was becoming increasingly urgent that these needs be met, we started looking elsewhere and, thank God, found a great school nearby where other kids with the same problems were thriving.
Eventually, our kids went into the public junior/senior high and did really well there, so please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not ragging on public schools! Some of the best teachers I’ve ever known have worked in that system; two of them are siblings of mine and I have the utmost regard for their skill and commitment to their students.
But the school our kids were supposed to attend wasn’t a good place for them. Yet we were told that was the only option if we wanted to benefit from the tax-payer education dollars that were their right as American citizens. Because I honestly feared for my children’s physical safety at the school the Government Powers That Be dictated, we had to pay our taxes AND cough up for educational expenses.*
Sheesh. Even the couple of times I’ve been out of work and grateful for food stamps, nobody told us we had to shop at one particular store and only eat the specific foods that some foodie union bosses had decided was best. Oh wait … that was only true for food stamps. The state-run WIC program actually does play food Nazi, but my battle with the WIC bureaucracy in Albany (motto: “It’s for the children” v. reality “It’s for the dairy industry) is another story.**
My kids are grown and becoming parents themselves, so you can guess how many years I’ve been irked to the bones by the left’s hypocrisy about parental choice! At the same time they blat non-stop about a woman’s right to decide if her unborn child will ever breathe, they scream bloody murder if that same woman decides five years later that the local public school isn’t a good place for her little darling.
What with us being old grandparenty farts now, this issue isn’t one I dwell on all that much any more, but it came to the fore on Sunday when two things happened close together. Hubby Dearest told me about a chat he’d had at coffee hour with a member of our local school board and Oblahblah spewed the usual “conservatives are greedy bastards” crapola at the Chamber of Commerce.
At the coffee hour chat, HD learned that last year our school board decided they could not raise taxes (again) to pay for the mandated raise in the teachers’ contract. Barry et al may be able to get away with whining about how “selfish” it is to refuse to raise taxes, but at the local level, one gets an entirely different view.
The main industries here are dairy, education and tourism. The dairy community is made up of a lot of small farms where mom, dad and the kids milk at dawn and dusk and shovel manure 365 days a year. They don’t get 3 months a year vacation or health and retirement benefits. And if they screw up, they don’t get paid to not work while their union hires them a lawyer; their cows die and they can’t pay the mortgage.
So color me ultra-conservative, but dammit no I don’t think we should raise their taxes so teachers can get another raise. Thankfully, the school board agreed and set the vote to either freeze salaries or hand out the raise and fire EIGHT people to make up the difference. They voted on freezing. Guess what the teacher’s union wanted? Yep. Take the raises and fire people. And they say WE’RE selfish??
Meanwhile, Barry Boy – whose largest campaign donors were big unions — shakes his judgmental finger at the Chamber of Commerce for objecting to taxes and regulations that are strangling private enterprise. In our president’s mind, the people who create MOST of the jobs in this country are greedy bastards for trying to stay in business. “Take the raises and fire people.”
Fox News is doing a series on choices in schooling. The attached article is from the series. It include the following interesting data:
Home schooling has grown nationally by almost 75 percent in the past eight years.
Today, an estimated 1.5 million children are home schooled for the following reasons:
21% Avoid environment in local school
17% Inadequate academic instruction in local school
Programs have sprung up over the years to help home schooling parents compensate for the socializing kids get in traditional schools. E.g., the Home School Athletic Association in Dallas.
More than 2 million students attend Catholic schools in America.
Home school and private school parents have to pay all the expenses related to educating their children. They also have to pay the taxes that fund the public education system that they believe is failing their children.
Every American child has an absolute right to an equal share in tax-payer funded education dollars, but they are only allowed to use these dollars at their neighborhood’s union-monopoly, government-run, one-size-fits-all public schools.
In 2010, the public education system spent approximately $10,614 per pupil.
Catholic elementary school tuition averages $3,383; secondary tuition $8,182.
Although Catholic high schools spend more than $2,000 less per pupil than public schools do, on average, the Catholic high schoolers outscore public schoolers on the SATs by 23 points.
So, am I one of those horrible, anti-American, tea-bagging, far right Christian whack jobs who supports tuition tax vouchers?
by Conservative Chrissy