School Vouchers

S.B. 10 has passed the Senate. It will now go to the House for further debate. The bill passed largely along partisan lines with Sen. Minority Leader Brown saying this was just the first step toward total school choice, which he seems to think is a bad thing.

19 comments

  1. Calybos1 says:

    I love how the far right dresses up appalling policies with nifty new names like “School Choice”–rather than “yanking even more support from public schools and hoping they crumble away so that only rich kids can get an education.”

  2. Demonbeck says:

    I love how the Democrats demagogue class and race for every issue. Why can’t Republican ideas be anything but evil and hate-filled? Why must the Dems always put politics before the education of our state’s children?

  3. Demonbeck says:

    BTW, they chose “School Choice” because it was catchier than, “Enabling poor and middle class families to send their children to better schools by offering tuition assistance from the tax dollars they send to the State Department of Revenue”

  4. EducationMan says:

    The argument that SB 10 is “taking money from public schools” is ridiculous. To convince folks of this, i offer the following examples:

    If a student leaves UGA at the end of one school year and transfers to GaTech, should UGA get to keep some or all of the taxpayer money dedicated for that student? Of course not.

    Ditto for Pre-k. If a student decides to leave one pre-k center for another, then the money follows the child, as it should.

    If you shop at Target instead of Wal-Mart, should some of your money be diverted to Wal-Mart because you are “taking money out of Wal-Mart”? Absurd. If i have that view that some of your money should go to Wal-Mart (even though you shop at Target), then i care about the adults that work at Wal-Mart and i do not care about you–the consumer.

    If I worry that families who take their special needs students to another school are “taking money out of the public schools,” then i have revealed that i care about the adults who work in the public schools and do not care about the special needs students.

    The powerful worry about how much money they get to keep. Those worried about the education of special needs children ought to be worried about taxpayer funds earmarked for special needs children following special needs children.

    On another note, Senator Johnson did a great job!!!! Watching the Senate floor debate, you could sense the resignation in the voices of Senators Thompson, Fort, and others as they congratulated Senator Johnson before the vote was taken.

  5. Calybos1 says:

    “Why can’t Republican ideas be anything but evil and hate-filled? ”

    Beats me… why CAN’T they? Surely not all Republicans really believe in screwing the poor the way their policies consistently do.

  6. Demonbeck says:

    I didn’t realize Bobby Kahn changed his screenname.

    Calybos, crack jokes if you want, it merely shows you cannot counter the argument presented before you. When you want to discuss the issue at hand, come on back.

  7. Jmac says:

    Why must the Dems always put politics before the education of our state’s children?

    Why must every issue be about politics? Demonbeck, your counter to Calybos’s argument is to set up your own indefensible straw man. It is very possible that some Democrats have legitimate ideological beliefs against vouchers, and it is very possible that some Democrats are not convinced the proposed bill will work.

    If we had a problem with folks eating too many cheeseburgers and I proposed a bill that bans the production of cheeseburgers, that would be a surefire way to decrease the number of cheeseburgers consumed. However, it would also be a very silly bill for a variety of reasons, would it not?

    Now, I’ve got concerns about the bill, and I don’t necessarily buy EducationMan’s rationale on it not diverting money from public education. In fact, I’ve asked that question at this blog several times now since Sen. Johnson has said it won’t do just that, but hasn’t explained how.

    Plus EducationMan’s examples of free market consumer choice don’t compare to tax revenues being dedicated for public education funding.

  8. dingleberry says:

    Calybos1,

    It’s not the GOP’s fault that poor people are poor.

    The GOP didn’t force them to drop out of school and go flip burgers at an early age. The GOP didn’t force them to ruin their lives by becoming alcoholics or drug addicts. The GOP didn’t force them to decide not to do anything to improve their lot in life.

    To quote a great movie:

    “F*** the poor!”

    Honestly. Screw them. They contribute NOTHING to society.

  9. Jmac says:

    I didn’t finish my thought apparently! Apologies …

    I was curious about your analogy because, yes, it isn’t like there is dedicated money going to Wal-Mart each and every year from Person X. So if Person X goes to Target, Wal-Mart shouldn’t get a money from Person X just because, you’re right.

    However, that is money that Wal-Mart no longer has, correct? My point in bringing this up is that if we permit Person X to get a refund of tax dollars to use as a voucher, then where is that money going to come from in the state budget?

    Am I understanding the bill correctly that it’s not feasible to maintain current revenues toward public education? That if we allow a chunk of money to go back to the taxpayer for this voucher, that money is no longer in the state budget for education?

    The argument for this has always been that this won’t impact money for public education … that that funding will remain consistent. However, we’re either going to have cut spending and shift funds over from other parts of the budget if you desire to keep the funding level the same, right?

    I’m honestly asking here.

    If you shop at Target instead of Wal-Mart, should some of your money be diverted to Wal-Mart because you are “taking money out of Wal-Mart”? Absurd. If i have that view that some of your money should go to Wal-Mart (even though you shop at Target), then i care about the adults that work at Wal-Mart and i do not care about you–the consumer.

  10. Pete Johnson says:

    If you would like to let key legislators know your views on this, we are conducting a survey we will forward at http://downsyndrome.asaway.com/
    The site has been exclusively devoted to this issue for a couple of months, with 25-30 articles on the legislation.

  11. Jason Pye says:

    The underlying issue is taxation, why shouldn’t the wealthy have choice. The top ten percent of income earners (cause wealth is earned) pay a quarter of the tax burden.

    Let’s not limit it to the wealthy, let’s open it up to everyone.

  12. Jmac says:

    Fair enough Jason, but that ain’t my question. My question isn’t an ideological one, but an economic one.

    Where is this money coming from and how is it not going to impact either current funding for public education or other expenditures in the state budget?

  13. EducationMan says:

    Sorry, J-Mac, have been tied up at work.

    I was hoping that my analogies for UGA and pre-k would explain my point, but perhaps i did not complete my thought.

    Funding matters per student. SB 10 has state money follow the special needs child to a private school, but local tax money does not. Yes, the total budget of the school system will go down, but their spending per student will increase–because not all of the money earmarked for that special needs child followed the child.

    Why should a school system “get paid” for an individual student, if it is not serving that student? Of course it should not get paid if it is not serving that student. If your child does not attend UGA, then the current funding for UGA is lower because UGA does not get state formula funds for your child or the lottery funds to pay for your child’s tuition. In that sense, funding for UGA has been “cut.” That is how the k-12 lobby is viewing this. Isn’t that silly?

    What they are saying is that their goal is to maximize their total budget–students be damned. Democrats want to be against voucher, fine. But please do not repeat the most self-interested and anti-child nostrums of the k-12 lobby (taking money out of public education). If that child moved to Florida, is that “taking money out of public education”?

  14. Jmac says:

    I see now. Thanks for the clarification, which is something I’ve been trying to find for a while.

    In that sense, I would not have a problem with the bill. I do have some other reservations about the bill, but those are more related to the long-term feasibility of it.

  15. Calybos1 says:

    Not all students cost the same, and not all students have the same extracurricular resources available to them.

    The children of wealthy parents already have enough options. Complaining that a specific family shouldn’t have to pay into the system if they don’t benefit from it is an interesting argument… I wonder how many childless people would get away with a similar argument?

    For that matter, I’ve never had to call on the services of the fire deparment, so clearly I shouldn’t have to pay for that either. Come on, folks! Social contract. You can’t just wish it away.

  16. jsm says:

    “For that matter, I’ve never had to call on the services of the fire deparment, so clearly I shouldn’t have to pay for that either. Come on, folks! Social contract. You can’t just wish it away.”

    If you were paying for the services of a better, private fire department, you wouldn’t want to pay for the municipal one you weren’t using. Apples & oranges.

    This issue IS all about taxation and forcing people to pay for something they have zero control over.

  17. dingleberry says:

    Calybos1,

    Poor people contribute absolutely NOTHING to society. Why should society be forced to subsidize their mediocrity?

    Actually, I take that back. Poor people contribute a lot to society. They make sure my fries are always piping hot…they always help me take my groceries to my truck…and they’re always helping me get rid of my spare change whenever I walk down the downtown streets! Whoo-hoo! Let’s reward them!

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