What? How is it overburdening a school when I take a portion NOT ALL of the tax money that the school is given to send a child to another one of their choice? How is choice bad? And if the schools claim that they need $6,000 per pupil and I take that pupil out of the school, ergo no more expense and I only take $2,000 of the money, that means $4,000 is left for the school even though it is doing nothing to educate that child.
Okay Fred, I glanced over the website that you sent me. And read as much as I could before my eyes glazed over like a cop’s in Krispy Kremes. So, then I did the best second thing to informing myself about the voucher situation. I called an expert who is currently a consultant for the school system and who has 20+ years working as a teacher and adminstrator. Here’s what I got.
Let’s look at a school in a low income area. School A has 837 kids enrolled. Out of those 837 kids, 813 kids are eligible for reduced or free lunch. Now how free/reduced lunches come in to play, having an impact on the voucher situation is this. This is how in the State of Illinois is able to determine how to allocate funding.
A school has 3 resources for funding. The school board, the state and from the fed. From the State a school would get a total of $565,035 for 813 kids. From the Federal they would get $390,160. All this in addition to the school board’s budget. Which is about $6000 per kid (4,878,00). So you are looking at roughly 5.3 million for that school’s budget. The school has would be able to use those funds for other needs,once the lunch program budget was satisfied.
Now, children who would be eligable for school voucher would be able to use appox. $7,415 of that money toward being able to seek education else where. Hence, this means that schools would start seeing a reduction in their yearly budgets, and cuts would have to be made. And usually those cuts are made in the classroom and in activities that would enable children who remain in the school.
Where the problem with school vouchers lies is that it benifits middle class parents who have the education or rather a strong frame of reference to be able to determine how well a school would be for their children. Low income parents who have the bare minimum of education i.e. high school diploma or G.E.D tend not to be able to understand what factors are needed for their child’s success. And it doesn’t seem like there will be any town hall sessions to educate these parents about these factors.And often with those parents or households, the aspirations are low in terms of gearing children to go beyond.
So, what’s left in the schools where parents have pulled their kids out to use the vouchers are children who are more of a challenge to teach. Which in turn burdens the teacher with stress, because one his/her budget for resources has been cut, moral is low because of what he/she has to face in the classroom, and top that with the adminstration’s pressure to make these kids be able to preform well on standardize tests which the states and federal look at to determine budgets and wheather a school should stay open or not. So, if a school that has not meet the required standards set by the state/school board, where are these children to go then? It’s not setting up for a win/win situation.
Also, many schools that parents would use the vouchers at have limits of admissions. So, what is a parent to do with that voucher, if the school of their choice is not available?
When I worked in the Chicago public school system, I saw a variety of schools. Many of the schools were delapadated and using school books that were at least 5 to 10 years old. Not to mention the incompetency of adminstration, whom many are in their position because of local school boards placed their because of having parent pressure to have someone who represented them, i.e. a Latino principal in a school that is majority Latino. The worst school had a few bathrooms that didn’t work among many things to long to list here. Overall, that school should have been shut down years ago.
I don’t agree with school vouchers, personally. Not just because of the potiental damage it could do to schools, but what kind of mentality i’ve seen in the school system from parents when they already are getting something free. The school’s free/reduced lunch program is a farce, because many parents who ‘qualify’ for it use it because it’s there when I have seen that them sending their kids to school in $100 sneakers and Sean John clothing. It’s like the welfare system, people will take advantage of a system if they can. You can also see it in the WIC programs in Illinois. Not to mention that quite a few parents see the public school system as a ‘baby sitting’ service. Tossing money to this situation is not the answer.
I say give bigger tax breaks to the middle class for parents when it comes to education. Overhaul the system. Stop making these schools focus so much on making teachers have to prep their students for tests that eventually serve no purpose other than, for states to show the government how much money they purportally need for the coming school year. Give tax incentives to those who would want to be a teacher. Make parents get involved in the school system by having the contribute a certain amount of money each month,based on income, to the school for something-any type of program that would enable schools help students raise their skills.