January 19, 2006

It'll never work, but it should!

NYC Mom Demands School Choice Cash
Dianne Payne has a good idea. I've said something along these lines before, but I knew better then, as I do now, than to think that someone in government will ever be willing to give up some of the power they have over our lives. Ms. Payne will probably spin her wheels for a while, get so discouraged she won't be able to follow through with what she has started (through no fault of her own), and eventually her children will be out of public school and it won't matter anymore. I wish there were enough parents willing to voice this very concern to their elected representatives so they would listen and actually do something about it. This type of fight would be better fought as someone would fight a class action lawsuit... The more people fed up with "government business as usual" the less wheel spinning you'll do. And, to top that off, the elected officials will have to worry quite a bit about their keeping their jobs come re-election time if they don't do what their constituents want.

But why would they want to do that? To be an elected official all you have to do is tell people you'll do what they want you to do and then ignore their frustration as you do the opposite, right?


tammo21 said...

Jesus H Christ on a stick driving a cadillac down pacific avenue... Who does this woman think she is demanding the government pay to send her children to a special school? It's not enough that the local government seriously overpays to educate children (real quick, what are they doing that costs 13 grand a year?), now a judge has ordered them to pay more?

this stupid society of ours will never learn that you don't make the problem of education go away by throwing more money at it. Everyone has a right to a public education, but they don't have the right to demand the government pay to send their kids to private school.

The JimP said...

This woman's plea to the courts to fund her children's entry into private school isn't a request for them to pay for their enrollment in the public school as well as the private, but only to subsidise their enrollment into private school because the public wasn't living up to their commitment to her as a public service which her tax dollars pay for. Not only that, but it hasn't been honored, and probably won't be. She's basically asking for the government in New York to do what they've done in other states... To fund the education of the children of that state regardless of what school they go to. Since the government is going to pay for these children to go to school anyway they might as well put the money into something that won't fail them.

Also, the $13,000 figure is a number the state reports on a yearly basis as an estimate per average student cost for a year's worth of education at a certain grade level. If you think about it, it's not really that high considering the average daily expense for every school in the entire state of California is $6,868, between all levels of education (excluding college). The actual expense per day in a school district with all levels of education is around $34,000 a day (my source for all of this is http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/fd/ec/, The Current Expense of Education page from the CA Dept of Education website). As it is, if a family elects to pull their children out of public school in Californian districts that support vouchers, each child is funded to go to a charter school as they would have been should they have continued to go to the public school. And in almost every case the charter school's performance far exceeds the public in every respect. This woman isn't asking for a hand out, she's asking for her fair share and a fulfilled promise that it will be used effectively.

tammo21 said...

No, the federal government has no responsibility to cater to what she thinks a "decent education" is. You have a right to education, and your taxes do pay for it, but schools are managed on a local level, not a federal level. She needs to take it up with the superintendent, but the federal govt has no obligation to pay for another school just because she's unhappy, that's her problem. That's obligating every federal taxpayer in america to pay for her own dissatisfaction. She don't pay $13000/year for her own student, so if anything, she is only owed the money she paid in federal taxes that specifically went to that school. She's living on an entitlement mentality, thinking that she somehow is owed something.

It's a fact though, that we spend more on education than we really need to. Schools all across the country are going through "modernization." What is that and how much is wasted? New buildings? why do you need new buildings? new computers? I'm sorry, but kids can learn about computers on their own time. The only things that a school should modernize are textbooks, and building codes to make sure they're safe. Other than that, kids don't need no imac computer labs, they don't need laptops, they don't need expensive lab equipment or fancy gymnasiums. People think that upgrading those things will increase education, but they won't, they just give kids something else to be distracted over. To teach a kid, all you need is a book, a chalkboard, a pencil and some paper. That's all we got, alongside a 1 hour a week excursion to the Apple 2E computer lab (which taught us nothing by the way) and 2 hours of recess per day, and the average GPA back in the 80s and 90s was much higher than it is today.

The JimP said...

First of all (ironically, in my second response comment), this woman isn't asking the Federal Government to pay for her children. She's asking for the public school system to take the $13k they would have spent on her children and put it into a more beneficial application of the funds. And she's not the one determining whether the school is adequate for her children or not. The school district and the state are reporting that the school isn't meeting the standards both for the state and on a Federal level. THe woman only wants her children to be adequately instructed, and acording to the reports on this school they will not have that instruction if they continue to attend there.

Logically the woman's request makes sense. She doesn't have an entitlement mentality. There is no doubt that she doesn't pay $13k a year in taxes. However, if the state is going to waste the tax dollars of her and her neighbors and those of the rest of the citizens of the state in funding a failing education system then everyone should be chomping at the bit to call down the administrators and other people responsible for this failure to the children, as well as obvious lackluster stewardship of taxpayer dollars, and this is exactly what Ms. Payne is doing.