T Nation

Louisiana To Privatize Public Schools

Louisiana’s bold bid to privatize schools

i - Louisiana is embarking on the nation’s boldest experiment in privatizing public education, with the state preparing to shift tens of millions in tax dollars out of the public schools to pay private industry, businesses owners and church pastors to educate children.[/i]

Starting this fall, thousands of poor and middle-class kids will get vouchers covering the full cost of tuition at more than 120 private schools across Louisiana, including small, Bible-based church schools.

The following year, students of any income will be eligible for mini-vouchers that they can use to pay a range of private-sector vendors for classes and apprenticeships not offered in traditional public schools. The money can go to industry trade groups, businesses, online schools and tutors, among others.

Every time a student receives a voucher of either type, his local public school will lose a chunk of state funding.

“We are changing the way we deliver education,” said Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican who muscled the plan through the legislature this spring over fierce objections from Democrats and teachers unions. “We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.”

Full story:

It always makes me suspicious when a state with a long history of opposition to desegregating public schools suddenly wants to start meddling in the public school system to the point of virtually eliminating it.

Awesome awesome awesome!!!

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
It always makes me suspicious when a state with a long history of opposition to desegregating public schools suddenly wants to start meddling in the public school system to the point of virtually eliminating it.[/quote]

Yeah, that is a completely sane and logical way of looking at this.

[/sarcasm]

[quote]DBCooper wrote:

It always makes me suspicious when a state with a long history of opposition to desegregating public schools suddenly wants to start meddling in the public school system to the point of virtually eliminating it.[/quote]

Yep, of course, the first impression you should get from this proposal is that this project is really the evil machination of white racists with a goal to dismantle public education to reinstate Jim Crow, as opposed to good faith reform of a system of education that isn’t doing a very good job of educating children.

Good Lord.

This is a great idea. Now these children can get the creation story in their Biology courses without any of that confusing evolution information.

jnd

[quote]jnd wrote:
This is a great idea. Now these children can get the creation story in their Biology courses without any of that confusing evolution information.

jnd[/quote]

Seriously.

Why waste time with theories when the Bible has all the answers?

Anybody want to see real bigotry? It is and will be on full display for the duration of this thread.

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
“We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.”
[/quote]

Parents are usually the problem.

[quote]Bambi wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
“We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.”
[/quote]

Parents are usually the problem.[/quote]

I’ve actually heard this as well. A lot of teachers have reported that dealing with parents is the worst part of teaching.

While I do not think this is going to work out very well for the taxpayers or the students, it is nice to see someone at least trying to seriously reform the education system. I am not too sure how I feel about taxpayer dollars being used to send students to private education centers. I know that I am not a fan of using taxpayer dollars to pay for tuition at religious institutions, but the more I think about it the less I like the idea of using tax dollars to send students to any kind of private schools. One of the main reasons that private schools exist is because the people who run them do not want to follow the standard educational guidelines, which is fine as far as it goes, but by doing so they forfeit government funding for their school. I think this should include allowing using taxpayer dollars to pay for tuition at those schools. If a parent would rather send their kids to a private school, fine. I am even okay with exempting them from paying taxes that would go towards paying for public schools, but if they can not afford it then it is not the responsibility of the community to send their kids to a private school.

Another major problem I have with this is the lack of a standard curriculum in private schools as well as the quality of the private schools who are willing to accept the most students. They tend to be the smaller and understaffed schools who are not any better then or even worse then public schools. The top schools are doing just fine and the $8000 or so dollars they would receive from the state would not even cover the cost of tuition there, so they lose money by accepting voucher students. Also, the schools that charge less then the $8000 or so that would normally go to paying for public schools have the right, according to this law, to claim up to that amount in unspecified fees. How much do you guys want to bet that nearly all of the schools are going to charge that amount?

Also, think about it financially. The article said that those who make up to $60,000 per year will get vouchers for full tuition and cost up to the $8,000 or so that would have gone to paying for a public education. The money that is used sending those kids to private school is taken from the funding for public schools. People who earn $60,000 or less do not pay $8,000 in education taxes. I make over twice that and I barely pay more then $10,000 per year. This means that a lot of people who pay less in taxes will take out more then they put in, meaning that either parents in income ranges higher then $60,000 will not get vouchers for $8,000, probably not even the amount they paid in taxes, and will have to pay out of pocket for private schools causing them to spend even more on education, or they will have to send their kids to the public schools who have lost most of their funding to sending low income students to private schools. I just do not see this working out very well.

[quote]Cortes wrote:
Anybody want to see real bigotry? It is and will be on full display for the duration of this thread. [/quote]

LOL. So true.

CS

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]Bambi wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
“We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.”
[/quote]

Parents are usually the problem.[/quote]

I’ve actually heard this as well. A lot of teachers have reported that dealing with parents is the worst part of teaching. [/quote]

Oh my.

Satisfying their customers is a hassle!?!

Say it is not so!

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]Bambi wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
“We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.”
[/quote]

Parents are usually the problem.[/quote]

I’ve actually heard this as well. A lot of teachers have reported that dealing with parents is the worst part of teaching. [/quote]

Bambi and raj – Do you think the teachers know better than you what’s best for your children?

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]Bambi wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
“We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.”
[/quote]

Parents are usually the problem.[/quote]

I’ve actually heard this as well. A lot of teachers have reported that dealing with parents is the worst part of teaching. [/quote]

Dealing with parents is a rare occurence these days.

After a dozen attempts to contact the parents of my students, i sometimes met one of their progenitors. But that’s all, usually.

That being said, i teach in a vocational school in the suburbs of Paris. Things may be a bit better in “normal” schools and in other parts of the country.

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]Bambi wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
“We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.”
[/quote]

Parents are usually the problem.[/quote]

I’ve actually heard this as well. A lot of teachers have reported that dealing with parents is the worst part of teaching. [/quote]

Oh my.

Satisfying their customers is a hassle!?!

Say it is not so!
[/quote]

While dealing with educated people your concept is great but dealing the uneducated masses that do not understand the value of education.

The biggest distractions in a class room ( via Mrs Pittbulll) are from uneducated families that have (NO) value of education . If there would be a way to lump all the un interested people together then you would have a maked increase in your efforts

[quote]orion wrote:

Oh my.

Satisfying their customers is a hassle!?!

Say it is not so!
[/quote]

Good teachers think of the teacher who will have their students next year as their customer. That’s who they are delivering their product to.

I think that the success of this plan really depends on whether or not they require the private schools, especially the religiously oriented ones, to follow a rigorous set of guidelines related to science and math. In other words as the poster above alluded to, they teach science, not creationism.

I find it difficult to believe that this program will succeed in anything other than making Lousiana even worse in terms of education, the plus side is that since it ranks #47 nationally in graduation rates it doesn’t have far to fall.

I hope it succeeds though, it would be nice for states to have an alternative model to work with.

[quote]SteelyD wrote:

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]Bambi wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
“We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.”
[/quote]

Parents are usually the problem.[/quote]

I’ve actually heard this as well. A lot of teachers have reported that dealing with parents is the worst part of teaching. [/quote]

Bambi and raj – Do you think the teachers know better than you what’s best for your children?[/quote]

Hi Steely,

I’d honestly say that’s a bit of a loaded question. And the answer is: yes, sometimes, other times no. A substantial minority of parents I work with are deluded about their children’s expectations and how their children behave (to be fairI work in sports coaching where that thing is more commonplaces). In that situation teachers are useful because they can cut through the bull. A lot of parents are fine with how their children behave. Now I’m wary of saying ‘teacher knows best’ because that diminishes the role of the parent utterly. I’ve had some awesome teachers. I’ve had some utterly shit ones.

Again in some cases, I’d say it’s only right parents have complete control over their children’s education because of various illnesses or disabilities or needs. As for these new private schools, well the Education Minister over here is doing the same thing with ‘free academies’ so I’m going to wait and see how that pans out before I make a total judgment.

What I would say is that the politicians who promise here to ‘take power back to the parents’ do not have the interests of children at heart.

What teachers really want to tell parents