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4 Replies to “Warning: Actual Nuance Ahead”
Our pedestal for Howard grew taller when we saw this report yesterday. We also have increased ire for extreme agendas to dismantle the government, throwing the baby out with the bathwater (in this case essentially literally) and redistribute society’s wealth to the rich. It’s past the T-party, past libertarians and on to extreme hypocrisy. As a resident of the shelter state of Illinois, all I can do is be proud that we’re making a small contribution to the line in the sand for people.
I am sure more passionate advocates will be inspired by Howard’s truth and courage. I know The VIVA teachers http://www.vivaproject.org are going to double-down on their efforts.
This is a fault line that has long been rumbling in the parental choice movement- going back to the debates of Friedman and Coons. I believe there is a solution.
The ideal choice program would both reflect equity concerns and be universal in scope. Until we start means testing public schools, it won’t make any sense to means test choice programs. If someone can explain why it is a great idea to allow a child of a billionaire to attend a Milwaukee public school at $13k in taxpayer cost, but gasp in horror if the same child were to receive a $6,440 school voucher, I’m all ears.
On the other hand, the public school system has a strong tendency to give more to the rich and less to the poor. This goes on less than in the past, but the full extent of it is likely obscured by district averages.
The solution is to provide choice to all, but to provide a much higher level of subsidy to the poor.
Hmmmm. School voucher program leads to a program subsidizing the rich. How unsurprising.
You mean like the public school system, right? Not only does the public school system “subsidize the rich” it typically does so at a higher rate than the poor. It certainly provides much higher quality schools to the rich than to the poor.
Unless you are going to means test public schooling, it makes no sense to condemn universal eligibility for a choice plan. For example, charter schools typically receive less public funding than district schools. Why then should I get upset if we provide the son of a billionaire $8,000 in tax payer subsidy to attend a charter school instead of $10,000 to attend a district school?
A private choice plan combining universal eligibility but greatly exceeding the public school system in terms of equity is not only possible, it is actually pretty simple.