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Thread: School Vouchers - Good or Bad?
Nov 3, 2000, 22:22 #1
I thought with one day left, I'd start this topic so this issue can be discussed. It might not be up in your district/state yet, but sooner or later it will.
The basics are, that as taxpayers you pay into many state run programs, one of which being public schools. The proposition for school vouchers (to sum it all up), offers parents of school age children, a $4,000 check (I believe per year, though now that I think of it, I'm not sure). Sounds pretty good eh?
Well, if the problem was that public schools had too much money, and that the teachers weren't capable of teaching, then yes, this would be a grand idea. Yes, there isn't enough training for teachers, nor adequate classroom space, nor cooperation between schools (let alone districts), nor solid leadership at the district level. I won't b.s. you and tell you that there aren't problems and concerns with sending your children to public schools.
Also, the scare tactics used (asking you to vote no on the propostion), aren't entirely accurate. Private schools do not have to hire teachers that are credentialed by the State of California, this is true. What you aren't told, is that there are many teachers working for the district that are not fully credentialed either. I am one of those teachers. We were hired due to overwhelming need for teachers (we get funds if we shift the classes to 20-1 where they used to be ???-1), and are obtaining our credential while we teach.
This might be shocking to some people, but I assure you that the teachers that aren't fully credentialed are younger and more enthusiastic than many that are. They actually like to teach (due to the fact that they haven't done it for 20 years). My test scores and other rookie's scores were up with teachers who have been there much longer (in some cases surpassing their scores). What it comes down to is, you either can teach or you can't.
These voucher propostions don't give more money to districts, though they do (in direct and indirect ways) take money from the districts. I taught for two months on the stage in the cafeteria (around lunch time I just stopped trying to get their attention, since there were hordes of loud children walking though with food). Two single lightbulbs illuminated the entire area. We have teachers that move from class to class every month. We have a class of 33 in our school library (hard to show them the merits of reading when we can't access our own library). This is a 15x30 foot room *with* shelves and shelves and shelves of books (remember it's a library).
$4,000 isn't enough to enroll a child in many private schools. This means that only the more wealthy families will be able to take advantage of the decent private schools. I hate to see the look on a parent's face when they figure this out.
It sounds like a good idea, but it really isn't. It doesn't address the problem. Just throwing money at parents isn NOT the solution, and that's all I'll say since this is already a novel.
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