The Indiana Department of Education released a new report on Tuesday which says costs of the state's CHOICE Scholarship program grew from $16 million to $40 million over the past school year. The program provided vouchers to 29,100 students to attend private schools, up from 19,800 the year before. The report undermines proponents' claim it costs the state less to send students to private schools rather than traditional public schools.
The program anticipated that most of the participants would be students moving from public to private schools. According to the report, about half of the students who participate in the program have never attended a public school. Voucher proponents claim the report's calculations are flawed, insisting that no more than 20% of the students using them could have participated in the program without the vouchers. The Department says it used the methodology approved by the state board of education to calculate the results.
Gary, the way you frame the blog post headline is unfortunate. Instead of "costs," I'd argue that 29,000 students/parents can now attend the private or parochial school of their choice. Those are parents making a conscious choice to eschew the government school system. The idea that parents are engaged & choosing the best education for their kids is something to be celebrated & not deplored.
Government schools have violated the libertarian nonaggression principle for decades via taxation. The voucher program is a situation in which the state is actually returning some of the immorally-taken funds to parents. In fact, I think that families earning up to 200% of the free & reduced lunch income level should qualify for CHOICE Scholarships; currently, the level is capped at 150% of FRL.
When students use a voucher to leave a public school, doesn't that reduce the amount of funding the state gives to that local school district? If so, the cost of the voucher program would be $40 million - (amount not given to public schools) = (actual cost of voucher program).
Carlos, Except the state constitution mandates a free, publicly-funded school system, not a private, publicly-funded school system.
Gary, I agree with the way you frame the blog post headline. Ever since politicians (most especially the left liberal Democrats but abetted by the RINO crony Repubs) the excuse "for the children" can buy almost any program, create another "agency", or send more tax dollars to allegedly meet the "growing global competition" for "meaningful employment".
BS, I say.
Since the 1960's, taxpayers national and local have been forced by politicians to pour countless tens of millions of dollars into "Education" in the name of "the children" and what is accomplished? Cohorts and cohorts of graduated students unable to compute simple math, confused as to composing coherent essays with thesis statement, supportive body, and conclusion, and generations more interested in ethno-centricities, being "cool", and elevating "being famous" over being intelligent.
Think about it. American taxpayers are STILL paying through the nose for left liberal Democrats' "Great Society" Program of the 1960's- and as we are still waiting for that outcome to be realized while ever more "great society" welfare programs have been enacted with similar Utopian promises.
Of course these costs explode. And even if more students can attend the schools the liberal D's and RINO R's make us pay for, we have dumber and dumber children utterly ill-equipped to support themselves or the entitled classes created by politicians.
I had a conversation with a long-time respected law professor recently who has decided to retire. She expressed her frustration at the need to teach remedial writing courses to her law school's students because their writing skills were so bad despite earning undergraduate degrees from respected universities. Barack Obama may have attended Hawaii's most prestigious private school, earned a Harvard law degree and served as president of the Harvard Law Review, but anything he's written with his own hand without assistance from others suggests he has rudimentary writing skills at best. Jack Cashill once marked up an op-ed Obama penned when he was supposedly in college. It was chocked full of grammatical errors. Ronald Reagan attended small-town public schools and a little-known college. His writing skills were impeccable.
Article 8 requires a "general and uniform system of Common Schools," but doesn't state that they must be government-run. Article 8 also requires "the General Assembly to encourage, by all suitable means, moral, intellectual scientific, and agricultural improvement," which doesn't preclude public funding of private institutions.
The key term being "Common" ... we may want to consult a Webster's Dictionary. "pertaining or belonging equally to an entire community, nation, or culture; public"... hmmmmm. Looks like the "Choice" folks have some 'splainin' to do.
Not really. One must use the term "common" in the context of 1851, when the Indiana Constitution (the 2d one, actually) was ratified. "Common" in that era meant "for the common people," as opposed to reserving education for the elite according to Otho Lionel Newman's 1926 study of the development of education in Indiana. The words -- particularly when read in conjunction with the requirement that the General Assembly must use "all suitable means" to promote learning, in no way require a government-run/owned system.
Besides, the framers of the state constitution could have simply stated that the state, county or township would run/own the schools had they wished to do so.
Look where the vouchers are going too. Almost 90% are being directed to Catholic Schools. Dig. This has become welfare for schools.
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