My father-in-law was a teacher and thereafter an administrator in the public high school system. As an administrator he would often express frustration that the school district preferred to rent a warehouse to store supplies and other inventory instead of building a warehouse on land it already owned. He would provide the math showing that the school district would actually save considerable sums of money if it would build instead of rent. He made this same observation regarding the many portable classrooms that the district rented.
When I asked him why the district made the financial choices it did, his answer was that they claimed they lacked the funding. He would also often add that in reality it was because being government funded and not subject to competition, they truly did not need to be fiscally responsible or innovative. They were the only game in town.
I understood this because my wife then also worked for the same school district. Her boss was responsible for making sure government designated funds were used for the designated purpose. Toward the end of each fiscal year the game was to make sure you spent your budget, even if you didn’t need to, otherwise your budget would be reduced in the next fiscal year. She often expressed frustration that some programs were underfunded while others were over funded and even though a responsible allocation of the funds would have improved the school’s ability to educate – government restrictions prohibited this.
My wife continues to work in education. She’s employed in a very large school district. She understands that over 1/3 if not more of the schools in the district of her employment, would be closed if illegal immigrants were not entitled to attend. The schools are strictly prohibited from determining if a student is here legally.
At the start of each academic year the schools are instructed to advise all of the parents about the many free programs, including meals, after school programs, and health care assistance available to those with low income. The benefactors are primarily illegal immigrants. I understand the estimated cost for these programs statewide is in the billions of dollars.
As long as I can remember the quality of public education has been dismal and of course the answer always advanced is – they need more money.
My wife and I sent our children to school. They received an excellent education and when in college, they excelled. Did I mention that we sent them to private school from Kindergarten through 12th grade?
My wife was adamant that we do whatever was required in order to pay for the private school tuition. Which, by the way, was lower per student than what the state was paying per student for public school. So, our children received a significantly better education at a lower per student cost. The private school needed to be financially competitive because it was not the only game in town.
“Choice” is a term used often particularly when it comes to decisions deemed personal and fundamental. Apparently educating one’s child is not personal nor fundamental, because choice is not an option. A parent is not permitted to make a choice as to where to invest the tax dollars allocated for his or her child’s education that the parent is forced to pay. The unions certainly are appalled at this concept. Their dues income would decline and their power base would be eroded. I am also aware of this game because our mailbox and e-mail are flooded with the union “talking points” they want us to advance. Their agenda is clear. Quality education is not the motivator nor the end goal.
If the objective is a quality education, the why isn’t a parent allowed to choose? Public or private, religious or not. Provide the parents with a voucher that they can use. Stop telling the schools how they must spend their money so the school has a chance to be fiscally responsible. Let the parent decide what school is best for their child.
But, we wouldn’t want to do this, because it would result in higher quality education at a lower cost. God forbid – this option would also result in a diminishment of union dues, union power, and shockingly – students would not be indoctrinated in the state religion. After all, it is important that they learn how to put condoms on banana’s and embrace the same sex agenda!