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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Opportunity scholarships

Opportunity scholarships are making their way through the legislature but the Knox county school board has unanimously voted against them (with the exception of Cindy Buttry). As you may or may not know the scholarships would be for at risk children in consistently under performing schools. The amount would be less then the average parent pays in taxes for their child to go to school.

Why any person would so selfishly want to force a child to stay in a school that has proven to not educate them has got to be one of the great frustrations to me in the legislature (In full disclosure, I ran a bill very similar to this a few years ago). It is a win win. The public school has fewer children it has to concentrate on (class overcrowding is an issue teachers say is detrimental to the child's education) and they still get some money for teaching someone who is not there.

At the same time the child who goes private has proven to get a better education at a lower cost.

I had to copy this excellent comment posted over at Tom Humphreys blog by a poster who desperately needs to start his own blog (Eric Holcombe)

"Taxpayer dollars should stay in public schools rather than go to private schools that can pick and choose their students..."

Uh, you mean like McDonald's gets to pick and choose who buys their hamburgers? AND their customers are also forced to buy a Hardee's thickburger they don't get to eat.

I'd like for the taxpayer dollars to stay in the taxpayer's pocket.

Here are some current tuition numbers from local Knoxville privates (averaged for K-12 years):

Berean Christian - $5900
Grace Christian Academy - $6592
First Baptist Academy (Powell)- $4900
Knoxville Christian - $6200
Paideia Academy - $6054
Concord Christian - $5656

These are all brick-and-mortars too. Not virtual Bill Bennett K12 Inc. charters like Union County will be getting. Maybe the Big Four need to explain why they are spending 30-50% more - or for that matter, all of 'em. The state system average is $8773.

Why should taxpayers keep paying 50% too much to protect the public monopoly?

Why indeed. One of the best reasons offered up was "Because children might learn things that are not appropriate"

Gee, I wonder what "inappropriate things" they would be learning at a private school that they would be better off not learning in a public school? I mean it would be ultimately left up to the parent to send the child to a private school or not. I would hazard to guess there are quite a few things the average parent would not want their child to be exposed to at a public school as well.

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