Saturday, May 23, 2009

Anti-school choice is anti-school-children

Dave Nalle on NextRight posts an execellent article on the DC voucher case. Headline - "Democrats Condemn Kids to Ignorance and Poverty." School choice is perhaps the top innovation we could and should make to save America's future, by offering better education to America's children. To be against school choice is to be against school children.

Now admittedly, the $7500 which this program provides to students isn't enough by itself to pay for a private school which costs $15,000 to $30,000 a year.

Many private schools (not in DC) cost less than that. In Austin, Texas, there are good private schools that cost only $3500/yr and many others in the $5000-7500 range. This compares with $8000-9000 per pupil spent in public schools depending on the school district, more if you add in the Federal component. Texas charter schools are funded at about 80% of what public schools get. Here in Texas, the charter schools have long waiting lists. For us, we tried to get our child into kindergarten, it was 4X over-subscribed. You note:

In addition, these vouchers can also be used at charter schools in DC, which have performance much closer to private schools than public schools. DC charter schools graduate 91% of their students, almost double the rate at DC public schools. 83% of those students attend college, close to three times the number of DC public school students going to college.

Note that in DC the PUBLIC SCHOOLING COST is almost $15,000/yr per pupil. Rarely do we see a Government function that is so expensive, so necessary, and so POORLY DONE. It's child abuse:

Of those only 36% have completed the coursework necessary to qualify them to go to a 4-year college degree program

This is an economic death sentence for these kids. Most schoolchidlren are molded into unprepared uneducated barely-able-to-be-employed near-illiterates. Inner city kids suffer the worst ,perpetuating the economic disadvantages of minorities. If we were to read a story of kids who were sent to school and were suffering from a lifetime of crippling illness, say the school had radium in the walls or mercury in the water and gave them a disease, we'd be up in arms. The authorities would descend.

But here we have the kids subjected to worse - a monopoly school system that is mis-educating them into a lifetime of privation and near-poverty by leaving them with the crippling handicaps of illiteracy, ignorance and lower employability. We need to consider this an utter and absolute outrage that such abuses are committed in the shadow of this nation's capital. And we should consider the elitist politicians who consign these children to this terrible fate, denying them a clear positive alternative, while sending their own kids to elite private schools, to be uncaring selfish hypocrites. We need to ask: have they no shame?

As I said: To be against school choice is to be against school children.

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