When Democracy Fails
I saw what happened to Venezuela. I don't want to live there.
There has been a lot of debate as to how the money people will receive from the entitlement ...oops, empowerment voucher will be categorized. It comes straight from the government so I consider it government funding. The majority of proponents say it is not public or government funding. One conservative think tank group did admit it was taxpayer dollars but it was the taxpayer's to begin with so they are just getting it back. Regardless, included in that debate is how to categorize the individual student for statistical and tracking purposes. Are they public school students? Private School? Other Means? I just read an article in the Muskogee Politico where they are referring to those students who will take the educational welfare money as students educating "by other private means". Interesting.
if you are taking government funding for your education, it is public school regardless of the location. If you have restrictions or policies/rules limiting or mandating what you can and can't do as directed by the DoE or any other government agency, it is public school.
The Constitution allows for four categories of schools; public, private, other school, and other means. These have always been based on who is paying the bill and to a large extent, who is making the rules. Public is government funded, government directed. Private is privately funded, privately directed. Other school...well, it has never been used to my knowledge and most people, including lawmakers, don't have a clue it's even an option. (THIS, in my opinion, is where these students should fall.) Other Means is parent funded, parent directed. (There is documentation in our state history that proves this phrase was intended for parents who privately educate their children at home.) So, if you are taking government funding for your education, it is public school regardless of the location. If you have restrictions or policies/rules limiting or mandating what you can and can't do as directed by the DoE or any other government agency, it is public school. With all the charters, virtual charters, public school at home, private school at home, public virtual schools and now the voucher, things are getting so convoluted that true constitutional home educators will quickly lose all autonomy and be sucked into the whirlpool of government controlled education. If this entitlement bill passes, unless home educators are written out of it, our freedom will be sucked into the abyss and lost forever.
One irrational statement was made claiming that we -constitutional home educators- should support this because it would empower us. Even when regulation ensued, we could fight it as it came up. They KNOW regulation will ensue and are telling us to just take the money now and then fight the battle later to keep those regulations (we currently don't have) from controlling us.
The only thing I can surmise is that the loathe and disdain for the public school system by many voucher proponents has so blinded them that all they can see as a solution is to bankrupt it and walk away with the money. It doesn't matter who gets left behind in the aftermath as long as that system gets broken and students get out. In fact, the author of one such bill indicated that he would push his voucher into law if only one student was able to get out of the corruption of the public school system and then referred to it as leaving the 99 to save the one. Is the public school system flawed? Absolutely yes. Is defunding it via a voucher the answer? No. Tens of thousands of public school students whose only choice is to stay right where they are may find themselves in a few years with no school to attend, especially in rural communities.
What I am wondering, is how many of those complaining about the condition of the public school did ANYTHING to keep it from getting where it is now? I agree wholeheartedly that the school has gotten out of control with the implementation of all the CRT, SEL, NCLB, CC, and every other thing that has nothing to do with education, but whose fault is that? Before we started home educating in the mid 90's, my husband was on the school board and I was a regular substitute teacher. We were involved in every way possible but we were in a very small minority of parents who were. It's when parents started using the school as a free babysitter and giving more control of their children over to the government, that the problem started. Parents no longer were involved in the classroom. Good teachers can only do so much. They are there to teach not babysit. How many parents looked at their child's curriculum to know what was being taught? How many called their legislators when bills were being introduced to require all this trash in the schools? How often did they check the library for inappropriate books or volunteer in the classroom so that there was a parental presence there? How many attended school board meetings or were on the PTA? How many were diligent to attend every parent-teacher conference? How many volunteered to chaperone a field trip or showed up for career day? I could go on with the questions but the answer wouldn't change. It was a handful. There are a handful of dedicated and involved parents but the lack of involvement from the majority is what got the schools to the place they are today. Parents finally woke up and it was too late. The damage was done and many are looking to the government to fix it via a voucher system.
Your desire to be politically correct and receive federal funding has come back to bite you and you are now working to destroy the very empire you helped build.
Unless they increase their participation and be an active participant and voice for their child's education, taking the money and starting a new publicly funded system will change nothing.
Really, the local school cannot carry all the blame. The school is following the laws, rules, and policies sent down from the state and federal governments, to the government controlled departments of education and the liberal unions. Their government funding is contingent upon their compliance with those laws, rules, and policies and teaching to a one-size-fits-all test. Lawmakers pushed standard after standard on the public schools for the sake of compliance in order to receive federal funds. Teacher's hands are tied...literally in red tape, disallowing them from doing the job they were trained for and love and that is teaching.
Legislators, many of you are the ones who passed the laws forcing schools to embrace all the things you say is now wrong with them. For the sake of federal funding, you forced equality, transgenderism, non-discrimination, anti-Christian one-size-fits-all education through your legislation. None of those issues have anything to do with Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. It's indoctrination. Every year you wrote new laws taking more and more control of the classroom away from the teachers and gave it to the liberal unions. Your desire to be politically correct and receive federal funding has come back to bite you and you are now working to destroy the very empire you helped build.
You say there won't be strings attached. Tell me one government program that doesn't have them.
You say there won't be strings attached. Tell me one government program that doesn't have them. Welfare, WIC, Farm Subsidies, Food Stamps...I could go on, all come from government budgets and come with government controlled accountability. How would this be different? Even PBS, a private entity, is largely funded by CPS (Corporation for Public Broadcasting - a government agency). Tell me you don't see the government influence in PBS programs. Even Sesame Street has been greatly influenced and changed over the past several years to reflect the more "politically correct" views of the government.
If, as many proponents for vouchers are saying, these entitlement funds are not public money, please clearly explain where the money is coming from? If you are calling it private funds then who is the provider? What philanthropist or corporation is providing these funds? From my understanding there is no one. It's coming straight from the Department of Education. The DoE operates off both state and federal funding. Clearly government money straight out of their coffers, out of their budget, and with their rules and regulations as to how those funds will be allocated and spent. In fact, schools are required to meet certain standards or lose that funding. Now, you want to take that same government money out of the same government budget and give it to individuals and say it is not government money. The local school has to jump through hoops and wade through red tape to receive and keep those government funds yet an individual can just walk away with it, no strings attached? Where, between the government's coffer and my hand, did the metamorphosis occur that turned those public funds into private? Usually, following the money means tracing it backwards to the source, not forward to the recipient.
Where, between the government's coffer and my hand, did the metamorphosis occur that turned those public funds into private? Usually, following the money means tracing it backwards to the source, not forward to the recipient.
Oh, but your tax dollars paid for it. Let's look at that. What else do your tax dollars pay for? Let's see, fire trucks. Your tax dollars pay for them so you should get to go drive one around any time you want because you paid for it. Oh, and your tax dollars paid for the governor's mansion are you going to move in? Have you taken a dip in the Oklahoma shaped pool? What would happen if you tried? My tax dollars, legislators, pay your salary but I'm not knocking on your door asking for my share back. Taxes go all the way back to Biblical times. When it says to render unto Caesar what is Caesars, it becomes Caesars. If we ran the actual numbers, you would see that the what the average family pays in taxes does not come close to covering what the state allots for one student in public school. If you are going to use the "I pay for it" argument, the counter argument is, if I have no children in public school should I be forced to pay taxes to support it? If you are going to apply this argument to one program you have to logically apply it to all and where does it end?
History itself will prove that government funding equals government control. The more the government gives you from its coffers, the more of your freedom it takes. You might take the "free" money from the treasury and run now, but the strings that are attached will eventually pull you back into the tangled web of rules, regulations, policies, problems, and indoctrinations of government funded education.
...every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.
"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist until the time that the voters discover that they can vote for themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates that promise to vote for the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."
Alexander Tyler, 1987, The Fall of the Athenien Empire
Good thing we aren't a democracy. Last time I checked, we are still a Constitutional Republic and it's time we started acting like one. I saw what happened to Venezuela...