I have so much anger right now, I don’t know what to do anymore.
I just watched the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education who “has been a shining light to members of the movement to privatize public education by working to create programs and pass laws that require the use of public funds to pay for private school tuition in the form of vouchers and similar programs. She has also been a force behind the spread of charter schools in Michigan, most of which have recorded student test scores in reading and math below the state average” (Washington Post, December 8, 2016).
I shouldn’t have to write any more than that for you to be angry. The supporters of DeVos claim to be on the side of getting better education to failing school districts, mainly impoverished inner-city neighborhoods. Bullshit.
The plan to use charter schools and vouchers is a way to eliminate “unwanted” children from the better schools and make children have to travel far, sometimes even out of the city they live in, just to go to school. Charter and private schools that accept vouchers are just taking tax-payer money to fill their own pockets. The GOP movement is a move toward privatization, not saving public schooling or improving it.
Why is that bad? The school district I work for, a public school district consisting of just two high schools, spent $22,948 per student in the 2014-15 school year. Most of the families in this district can afford that, should the school go private, for example. Key word: MOST. Those who can’t afford that would do what for their children’s education? Even if that number is somehow cut in half, it would be impossible for ALL families to afford it. That’s including the “savings” to the taxpayer for taking the public school funding out of the local taxes.
The reason poor areas have poor schools is BECAUSE tax money funds local schools. Poor people don’t pay a lot of taxes, so the schools don’t get a lot of money. Simple correlation. The problem is poverty, not education. All these people talking about fixing the schools so kids can get a good education to “get out” of the “ghettos” are full of crap. We need to fix the neighborhoods and the income gap, not the school system. Once people make decent wages for the work they do, they will pay more taxes, which will better fund schools, which will lead to better education LONG TERM.