The Money Follows the Student… A Really Bad Idea for Taxpayers

No Comments

There is a compelling need for an educated citizenry.  As such, it is the responsibility of the body public to provide for education services that meets its needs.  Texas does this thru its system of public schools, paid for by Texas and United States taxpayers.

With this tax funding, there are accountability standards in place (fiscal, academic performance, and governance) and safeguards to prevent discrimination, segregation, and exclusion.  All of these benefit the public good and protect the taxpayer.

Having the “money follow the student” circumvents all of the currently afforded standards and safeguards. This is neither logical nor good policy.  Let me illustrate why this is the case.

Assume I’m a parent that wants my child educated in a non-public setting, which is currently (and always has been) a parent’s right.  However, I have decided that the state should pay for my choice by allowing me to take what the state would have spent in the public setting and use those funds to offset the tuition of the private setting.  Sounds fair, doesn’t it? 

Not really…

1. The public school has to meet certification standards for staff. For the taxpayer, this is a good thing.  The private provider is not accountable to staff certification standards.  For the taxpayer, this is a bad thing.

2. The public school has to meet public accounting and financial audit standards. For the taxpayer, this is a good thing.  The private provider is not accountable for meeting public accounting and financial audit standards. For the taxpayer, this is a bad thing.

3. The public school has to follow open meeting and open records standards. For the taxpayer, this is a good thing.  The private provider does not have to follow open meeting and open records standards. For the taxpayer, this is a bad thing.

4. The public school has to meet state academic accreditation and performance standards, for all students. For the taxpayer, this is a good thing.  The private provider is not accountable to state academic accreditation and performance standards.  For the taxpayer, this is a bad thing.

5. The public school cannot discriminate based on creed or nationality.  For the taxpayer, this is a good thing.  The private provider can discriminate based on creed or nationality (thru both official and “soft” entrance requirements).  For the taxpayer, this is a bad thing.

6. The public school cannot segregate based on race or ethnicity. For the taxpayer, this is a good thing.  The private provider can segregate based on race or ethnicity (thru both official and “soft” entrance requirements).  For the taxpayer, this is a bad thing.

7. The public school cannot exclude based on ability, gender or economic status. For the taxpayer, this is a good thing.  The private provider can exclude based ability, gender or economic status.  For the taxpayer, this is a bad thing.

The rebuttal argument is this: “But what about what is best for the parent and the child.  Don’t they matter?” 

To which the answer is, “Yes, as has always been the case, they matter.”

For the parents that believe that public education is unable to provide the level, focus or type of education that they desire for their child there is a remedy. For the parents that prefer a school made up of a specific peer group of their liking, there is a remedy. Those parents can remove their children from the public school setting and enroll them in a private setting more suited to their philosophy, worldview or agenda. That is their right and their privilege. It is their “School Choice.”

They just have to pay for it.

For the taxpayer, that is a good thing.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); Fun 5 Plans (Fundamental 5 Lesson Plan Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: ASCD Annual Conference; TEPSA Summer Conference 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook
Top LYS Tweets From the Week of October 12, 2014
Closing the Lesson – It’s All About the Plan

Related Posts

Menu