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“To Pay or Not to Pay…”

“To Pay or Not to Pay…”

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“To Pay or Not to Pay…”

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  1. “To Pay or Not to Pay…” A Stand on School Vouchers

  2. Imagine If… • You are part of the… • Upper Class • Children been attending Private Schools since they were in Kindergarten • Middle Class • Children are in Public, bused to an inner city magnet school. • would like to go private • Lower Class • Children are in Public school, in the inner city.

  3. History of School Vouchers • The main controversial issues are broken down into two main articles of criticism. The first criticism alleges that “competitive markets are not well suited to the field of education, and that any school reform based on privatization, competition, and parental choice is doomed to failure”. The second criticism states that “government-funded scholarships would not create a genuinely free educational market, but instead would perpetuate dependence on government funding and regulation to the continued detriment of families”.

  4. In 1954, the Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education decided to put an end to school segregation by offering all children equal educational opportunity, discarding the issues of race. This changed the educational landscape of American history • In 1955, vouchers were introduced to the nation by Milton Friedman, an economist • During the 1980’s era, President Regan proposed many vouchers during his administration, congress defeated these voucher measures. School vouchers began to take on struggling inner city schools.

  5. In the years in between 1995 to 1998, a five year evaluation of the Milwaukee voucher program showed that not one student had achieved any gain; legislators stop funding evaluation component and instead, expand program to include religious schools. • In 1990, the nation developed its first publicly-funded voucher program in Milwaukee • In 2002, in case Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, the Supreme Court rules that the Cleveland voucher does not violate the First Amendment and upholds the constitutionality under federal constitution. • In 2003 Colorado enacts a voucher law, becoming the fourth state to use public tax dollars to fund private schooling.

  6. What’s so good about vouchers? • Has been widely supported by parents • It’s a way for students to escape borderline or failing grades • I.e. Cleveland’s Trial • Establish a code of conduct and discipline • Improve the learning environment

  7. And… • Teachers support School vouchers • It introduces competition in the provision of education • Can improve public schools overall academic performance

  8. Mr. President Thinks… • Two major factors if Vouchers are provided • Supports the Vouchers

  9. And the Verdict says… • The Similarities of the two Cases • Brown vs. Board of Education • Brown v. Topeka Board of Education

  10. No to Vouchers! No to Vouchers! • Case: • Public Education and Religious Liberty v. Liberty • First Amendment • “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

  11. School Vouchers are a Catch-22 • School Voucher initiatives, such as California’s Proposition 38 (2000), offer parents a false sense of hope, rather than a real solution to the problem of public schools. 22

  12. The Occurance of Catch 22 One Milwaukee parent explains the common occurrence of the Catch-22 phenomenon when dealing with the School Voucher program in Wisconsin: “I applied for the choice program and was told that my child could not attend the school because he had poor grades in Milwaukee Public School. But that’s why I wanted to send him to a choice school.” She, like many other parents, learned that Private schools can deny Admission to Voucher students based on previous Academic and Disciplinary records.

  13. Parent’s Choice or School’s Choice School Voucher programs put the Power of Choice into the hands of Private schools, not parents. Getting a Voucher is one thing, being able to use it is another… Availability—Application for Vouchers and Private schools’ enrollment procedures are mystifying; school capacity becomes an issue Discrimination—Private schools can deny admission based on a number of their own subjective criteria, including Gender, Religion,ability to pay extra costs, Language, Academic ability, or Physical ability Accountability—Private schools have very little accountability toChildren, Parents, and Taxpayers

  14. “Voucher proposals take many forms, and some are designed to deliberately disguise the basic realities that will result over time. The best students will be skimmed off—those whom private schools find desirable for their own reasons. Since families will have to make up additional costs, those in the upper- and middle-income brackets will be helped the most…. Skin color, religion, economic class, language group, need for remedial work—all these things would be barriers to acceptance and success in a system designed around the choices of the private schools, not the choices of parents and students.” ---Kweisi Mfume, president/CEO of the NAACP

  15. The Fine Print (oh, by the way…) There are commonly additional costs most Vouchers won’t be able to cover, as well as Services that are not provided by many Private schools (but are provided by most Public schools)

  16. Many services that Parents depend on in Public schools are not available in Private schools • Free or low-price Lunches • Medical services, such as a school Nurse • School Transportation • Books • Uniforms • Activities • (none of which would be covered by Vouchers)

  17. Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems The money for Vouchers would come from us Taxpayers; it would also take money away from public services like Police, Fire Dept., Healthcare, Childcare, or from new taxes

  18. The First Amendment Question • The Separation of Church and State is jeopardized when one considers that State or Federal Vouchers--created by TAXES--will go to the Religious indoctrination of some Voucher students. “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.” ---Thomas Jefferson

  19. Public schools Abandoned—Majority of California’s students Left Behind “Using public dollars for Vouchers instead of investing in programs that we know work will only delay our ability to provide a high-quality education for all children.” ---C.J. Prentiss, Ohio State Representative

  20. Let’s get SMART! S.M.A.R.T. schools are one possible solution to the failing school system. Small classes & schools Money for equal education Authentic assessment Racial/economic equity Top-notch teaching/curriculum

  21. And The Verdict is… Any acceptance of School Vouchers would be a clear sign that we have given up on Public Education and the idea that high-quality education should be available to everyone. In essence, acceptance of Vouchers is an acceptance of inequality; it shows a reluctance to fight against the racial and economic injustices that exist in our society. Fix the problem at its Foundation. Change the focus of the Education system from accommodation of mediocrity and inequality to championship of universal equality and excellence.

  22. Your Choice!!! “To pay or not to pay..” Where do you stand? Does your class standing matter ? Is it going to effect you in any way?