Bill In ND Legislature Would Divert Public Education Money To Private Schools

School-choice-art

HB1466, introduced by Rep. Mark Dosch, is a major piece of education policy reform which would allow parents choosing private schools to divert as much as 25% of their student’s share of public dollars to the private school.

The amended version of the bill (read it here) would require that parents opting for a private school that meets the education standards already in place file notice with the superintendent of their school district. After the deadline for notifications, the superintendent will then figure out the total of funds owed to each private school chosen by the parents (again, not to exceed 25% of that student’s share of public funds) and forward that figure to the Department of Public Instruction which will then disperse those funds to the private schools.

The bill allows for any schools meeting the compulsory education requirements set out in 15.1-20 of the North Dakota Century Code be eligible for this money. By my reading, that means home schoolers meeting state standards would be eligible as well. UPDATE: I interviewed Rep. Dosch about this bill and unfortunately it won’t apply to home schoolers since home schooling under state law is a program, and this law applies to institutions.

Put simply, this is education vouchers, and it’s a big step in the right direction for education in North Dakota.

Currently parents who choose private schools or home schooling are still required to pay their full share of taxes for public schools. What this bill does is divert a portion of those tax dollars into supporting parents who choose to opt out of the public system.

As has been shown in study after study, and pretty much everywhere the policy has been tried, when parents are empowered to make more choices for their students the students perform better and we get better academic outcomes.

The state teacher’s union, of course, hates the idea. The North Dakota Education Association is already mobilizing in opposition to the bill.

Update: A reader points out that Article VIII, Section 8 of the state constitution may prove problematic for this bill. That amendment reads, “No money raised for the support of the public schools of the state shall be appropriated to or used for the support of any sectarian school.”

There’s some interesting history behind that language. It’s called a “Blaine amendment,” named after former US House Speaker James G. Blaine, and it’s the product of anti-Catholic bigotry in 18th and 19th century America. The US Supreme Court has upheld school choice programs which divert funds to religious schools, including Catholic schools, in Zelman vs. Simmons-Harris, but the existence of this language in the North Dakota constitution may make passage of this bill difficult.

Which is not so much an argument against the bill, but an argument for removing the vestiges of religious bigotry from our state constitution.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • headward

    “Currently parents who choose private schools or home schooling are still required to pay their full share of taxes for public schools.”
    I don’t have any kids. I should get my share(up to 25%) back as well.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Sorry, pal, public funding of education is here to stay.

      • Gern Blanston

        Everyone pays for education. Some of us pay twice. This would reduce our burden to something less than double.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Well said.

      • headward

        I agree that it is here to stay but I don’t think giving home schooling parents a break on taxes for public education would be advantageous. I’m all for school competition since this will only improve the education. Also being an atheist, I’m all for private schools(most being religious) getting funding that follows the child.

  • Game

    This bill is unconstitutional. If the state government uses taxpayer dollars to fund religious education it is the same as the state government endorsing that religion. I wonder if all of you conservative types would feel the same if somebody was going to open up a Madrasa in Bismarck and wanted taxpayer money to fund it.

    If the homeschoolers want to take taxpayer money, then they should actually have tor prove they are qualified and licensed to teach. Right now, North Dakota has one of the lowest standards for homeschoolers in the country. That is fine, because I do think that parents should have that right, however, they don’t have the right to a taxpayer subsidy for their choice.

    If the state wants to promote school choice, they should allow open transfer to any public school in the state. If a parent wants to enroll their students in a neighboring school, they should be able to do that free and clear.

    But lets keep the government, and the taxpayer dollars, out of religion.

    • LibertyFargo

      What if you just allowed a family who wanted private or homeschooling for their children to just have a reduction in their taxes toward education by 25%. This way the state isn’t diverting or sending any money to a specific school (religious or not) but is still easing the burden on parents paying “double” and still maintaining a level of “everyone is still supporting local education” ?

      • wj

        “Diverting” really is not an accurate description of the legislation. The bill does not take money away from the public schools. It is more like the money follows the child.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      If the state government uses taxpayer dollars to fund religious education it is the same as the state government endorsing that religion.

      I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the constitution. There is no restriction on diverting public funds to religious organization, it’s just that no religious organization can get preference over another, and religious organizations cannot get preference over a secular organization.

      Since the law allows for these funds to flow regardless of what flavor of religion a school is, or even if the private school is secular, there is no constitutional problem.

      If the state wants to promote school choice, they should allow open transfer to any public school in the state. If a parent wants to enroll their students in a neighboring school, they should be able to do that free and clear.

      We actually already have open enrollment, and that’s good policy, but it’s not enough.

      • Game

        Rob,

        “We actually already have open enrollment, and that’s good policy”

        Local school districts can opt out of the ND Open enrollment policy. Your hometown of Minot has done just that.

        You can read about it here…http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/567326.html

        You want school choice, let parents decide what public school kids can go to, not school boards.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          I agree with that policy.

          It’s irrelevant to the topic at hand.

          • Game

            It is relevant because I suggested that the a better bill to provide educational choice would be to allow for real open enrollment in public schools.

            You said it already existed, then I proved it did not.

            I really find it interesting that you want to divert public funds to private schools under the argument of parents choice, yet you support a policy that does not allow public money to be spent at the public school of a parents choice.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            I don’t think you’re understanding me. I am for parents being able to choose whatever public school they want. What I am for, in addition to that, is parents also being empowered (with 25% of their student’s share of state tax dollars) to choose a private school too.

        • Jeremiah Glosenger

          You are not really offering a very competitive choice when the only choice is public education. Numerous states with “voucher” programs, charter schools, etc. have proven that private education can easily outperform even the best public schools. That is how you improve education in all schools–real competition. The one thing that definitively does not improve education in public schools is giving them more money.

      • Dakotacyr

        Where in the ND Constitution does it allow the legislature to use tax dollars for private education?

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Where in the constitution does it say they can’t?

          • dakotacyr

            Article VIII sections 1 and 2. So where does it say they can? Remember, You are a strict constructionist.

          • wj

            It may be true that the state constitution does not expressly authorize use of tax dollars for something other than “public schools,” but it does not prohibit either. State constitutions, unlike the federal constitution, are not considered exhaustive.

          • dakotacyr

            Really, so you are not a strict constructionist and read stuff into the ND Constitution that are not even mentioned.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            So you’re saying the state should stop every program not specifically authorized in the state constitution?

            I don’t think you actually believe that.

          • Jeremiah Glosenger

            You seem to be getting quite confused. It is the US Constitution (not ND) that expressly limits the power of the Federal government from doing ANYTHING that is not within the enumerated powers. The power to perform all other government functions that you can dream up is reserved to the states and the people (see 10th amendment).

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            That the state constitution mandates public schools does not preclude the state from contracting with private schools.

          • Dakotacyr

            Where in the ND Constitution does it give the legislature the power to do thspis? Now remember you are a strict constructionist. Please cite the section that allows this. I provided you with the section that only allows for the funding of public schools.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      If the homeschoolers want to take taxpayer money, then they should actually have tor prove they are qualified and licensed to teach. Right now, North Dakota has one of the lowest standards for homeschoolers in the country. That is fine, because I do think that parents should have that right, however, they don’t have the right to a taxpayer subsidy for their choice.

      If you want to debate standards for home schooling in ND, then fine let’s do that, but it’s not a valid argument against this bill. We can raise or lower those standards independent of this legislation.

      I suspect, though, that if you pitted academic outcomes from the state’s home schooled kids versus the public schooled kids you’d find the home school kids do better. Just my opinion on the matter.

      • Drain52

        Yeah, I’m happy to put my kids’ test scores up against any others. I’d be happy for them to take a test–any academic test you want, on any topic. I think my 12yr old could out test even a college student.

        If we were to base state funding on test outcomes there’d be a lot of public schools that would be penniless.

        • slackwarerobert

          And I bet even the college seniors couldn’t pass my kids gun barrel rifling class. I think the funniest thing was the principle telling me he had to be tested before they could let him in school for the 6th grade, (he wanted to play basketball), I just laughed and told them go ahead. He came out at 10th grade english and 12 grade math. Only problem I have is all the phone calls when he uses logic to stump them with simple questions. “How can you give me a flu shot when I can’t even have an aspirin?” “Where are the real presidential candidates, these two criminals don’t believe in the constitution”

      • Game

        I fully support a parents right to home school i just don’t want taxpayer dollars used to create an entitlement for them to do so.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          We already have an education entitlement. That’s long-established law.

          What this does is give parents a choice in how that entitlement is upheld.

          What you’re against is people being able to choose.

        • Opinion8ed

          Are you offended that single women get pregnant as many times as they want and get tons of entitlements?

        • Jeremiah Glosenger

          Your driveling about the low standards for home education in ND shows your ignorance about the academic superiority of the institution as a whole compared with public education. I find your concept of entitlement a bit interesting since by using that term you seem to discount the fact that most families that choose a superior form of education for their children are the taxpayers from which those “public funds” are derived. It is asinine that I pay ridiculous amounts of taxes to a state that is flush with tax dollars, yet I have to then fork over thousands in additional dollars for curriculum & supplies to education my children. To top it off, you think that allowing me to use my own tax dollars (that are designated by the state for the education of my children) to educate my children is an entitlement. Instead, those tax dollars are still being spent, but not on my kids. I’m subsidizing other children’s education, because all 3 of my kid’s education money goes to the school that they don’t attend.

    • Gern Blanston

      Yeah, if you don’t like Jamestown High, you’re free to send your kids to Valley City or Bismarck- simple solution.

      • Game

        Are you suggesting that their are no other schools that you could open enroll your students in from Jamestown other than Valley City or Bismarck?

        Wow, I bet you don’t watch many Class B games on TV.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          You make a valid point, though in many places in ND there is only one school within practical distance.

          But, with a bill like this increasing demand for private schools, we could see more options open.

    • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

      With all due respect – do you have any kids? Do you understand what it’s like to see what’s passing as an ‘education’ costing more and more per child, and getting less and less out of it?

      Maybe you’d be okay putting your child into a school that’s rated in the bottom third of your state. We weren’t. The child has ONE chance to get a good education – how much is it worth to you to get your child the best education you could provide?

      And how are you going to get public schools to improve if there’s no reason for them to? Take away some of the money because they’re not going a good job should be an incentive, right?

      We put him in a Methodist school. Oh, horror! He was taught logic, reasoning, even LATIN. He learned how to learn, and when he transitioned to public high school for 9th he went from Bs and Cs to straight As, and asked to be put into an advanced math class because the standard 9th grade algebra class was (in his own words) ‘stupid’.

      We’d have loved to have 25% of what would have been spent on him during 1st to 8th grade. It would have made our lives easier financially, but it was worth it seeing the results.

      The public schools won’t change until they have to. Taking away some of their money and handing it to their competition should be a real incentive – looking at their record should be an even bigger one… who could feel comfortable about buying from a company which has a failure rate of about 30% (if not considerably more in some areas) in their product?

      • Game

        I do have children, and I am not against school choice, home schooling or private schools.

        As I said, I think your children should be able to attend any public school you want, regardless of where you live. If you want to drive your kids an hour each way to take them to a quality school, I think you should have the right.

        I just don’t believe you should use public education money to fund regions studies.

        Let me be clear, I don’t want the government having anything to do with the free practice of religion. I think it is a violation of my natural right to freely practice my religion if the government starts endorsing any religion.

        • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

          I’m already paying into the system – that money is mine to begin with, though I can’t claw it back. I wish I could – the product being put out is decidedly substandard, and when you have public teacher friends recommending private schools to you, there’s something badly wrong.

          The ‘government endorsing a religion’ crap is just that – crap, that’s been used as an excuse to block school vouchers for a long time now. What you’re doing is giving some – not all – of the money back to the parent so they can use it to get the education they want for their child and that education must conform to state standards.

          Is the child somehow harmed if he’s exposed to religion along with algebra? Do you think that teaching a child logic along with Christianity somehow will turn the kid into a raging supporter of a theocratic megalomaniac?

          Would you rather have graduates that know math, composition, science, history and can reason their way out of a paper bag, or kids who can barely read, are almost innumerate, and have no sense of history and couldn’t tell you what methane consists of?

          In the end, it’s about getting the best possible education for the kids. Why you’re against giving the parent back some of the money that the state won’t be using to educate the child (leaving 75% still with the state for the education of more children) really is beyond me. I don’t see your excuse of it being ‘an endorsement of religion’ as rational.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          The government can’t be endorsing a religion when this funding is free to go to all qualifying schools regardless of religion.

    • Opinion8ed

      We also have below average Act scores, and some of the lowest college Act Scores at UND and NDSU.

  • 11B40

    Greetings:

    As the beneficiary of 13 years of Catholic schooling, my take would be this is a step, or more accurately a 25% step, in the right direction.

    My intellectual conceit about the Catholic parochial school system is often reinforced by the few times it garners any mention when the acceptable failures of our public education system are examined, more often than not, with the intent to extract even more dollars from taxpayers.

    To my mind, the Catholic school system has been, in effect, a “reverse-voucher” system for the last 100 years or so in which those who value that education are required to support not only the public Leviathan but then, in order to protect their progeny from that critter, pay again, whether through tithe or tuition, to have their children properly educated.

    That the Catholic school system seems to be able to operate at much lower costs with better results these days is remarkably uninteresting to those in control of the public education rice bowl and their media fellow travelers.

    My deep sense of social justice requires me to demand “reparations” for the financial burdens inflicted on citizens desirous of having their children properly educated.

    And why only 25%? What, pray tell, is the logic behind that percentage?

  • Dustin Gawrylow

    Doesn’t this violate the Article X Section 18 Gift Clause?
    Oh wait, no one follows that one anyways, so why would this be any different?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Why on earth would you think it violates the gift clause?

      • Dustin Gawrylow

        The way HB 1466 reads, the payment will be directly from the state to the private school. By not running this through the taxpayer as a tax credit, it could be argued that this is “aid of an individual, association, or corporation” that is not for the “reasonable support of the poor”. The fact that the bill uses the term “contracted services” may rebut that argument, but the fact it does not cover the entire cost may be seen as a donation rather than a payment for services.

        Furthermore, if we view the Constitution as a Limiting Document, Article VIII Section 2 says “The legislative assembly shall provide for a uniform system of free public schools” – that would also seem to prohibit direct payments to non-public schools.

        Now, maybe we should just start ignoring the constitution like everyone else, but if that’s the case, we’ll never have a leg to stand on.

        References:

        http://www.legis.nd.gov/files/constitution/ArticleXFinanceandPublicDebt.pdf?20130214123511

        “Article X Section 18. The state, any county or city may make internal improvements and may engage in any industry, enterprise or business, not prohibited by article XX of the constitution, but neither the state nor any political subdivision thereof shall otherwise loan or give its credit or make donations to or in aid of any individual, association or corporation except for reasonable support of the poor, nor subscribe to or become the owner of capital stock in any association or corporation.”

        http://www.legis.nd.gov/files/constitution/ArticleVIIIEducation.pdf?20130214122945

        “Article VIII Section 2. The legislative assembly shall provide for a uniform system of free public schools throughout the state, beginning with the primary and extending through all grades up to and including schools of higher education, except that the legislative assembly may authorize tuition, fees and service charges to assist in the financing of public schools of higher education.”

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          The law says that it’s a contract between school district and private school, initiated by the preference of the parent.

          I don’t see how that runs afoul of anything you posted.

          You’re making mountains of ant hills.

          • Dustin Gawrylow

            Ok whatever.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            I just interviewed Rep. Dosch about it.

            The gift clause has absolutely nothing to do with this.

        • slackwarerobert

          Wouldn’t paying public schools also violate the “free” public schools part as well?

        • slackwarerobert

          And doesn’t “provide” also get violated by mandating attendance in school?

  • awfulorv

    Attention! Attention! anyone interested in educating themselves, or others, instead of bitching about the state of our educational system. Hie yourself to the Khan Academy, a collection of thousands of videos found on You Tube. Mathematics, from Addition to geometry, plus History, Geography, science, civics, and probably auto repair, is available, at no cost, for your perusal. Hurry though, as the teachers union will, I’m sure, look askance at any means of teaching which does not contain the word “Dues” within, and have them banned.

  • camsaure

    My question is: Why only 25%? It is a step in right direction, but it should be a lot more.

  • Yogibare

    Some years back this was a topic of discussion with some former teachers when I lived in New York State. The teachers all said this tax money “belonged” to the public schools and that it could not be taken from them for reasons of equity to people who sent their kids to private school. Didn’t matter that the public school did not have the expense of educating the child.
    It would be real progress if the exclusive and monopoilstic public school system got some competition for tax dollars.

    • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

      Might give them a reason to improve if they knew the money could go away if they didn’t.

      • slackwarerobert

        Step two would be to make them pay back the money if they don’t educate the child. I liked Newt’s idea of charging the school for the college classes when they pass a student who can’t do the work the school said he passed.

  • slackwarerobert

    Shouldn’t that headline be, “Education funds to be used to educate ALL children” equality at last, freedom still a way to go sadly.

  • WOOF

    Improve schools the easy way.
    Make class sizes smaller .
    Pay teachers more.

    Don’t give public education dollars away.

    • Waski_the_Squirrel

      I am a teacher. I’d like to make more money, but I’m curious how paying me more will make me teach better? Are you suggesting I don’t care or work as hard as I would if I made more money?

      I find that insulting.

      As for class sizes: beyond a certain amount of reduction, it has been found that this has very little impact on the way teachers teach. Most schools in this state have very small class sizes.

      • WOOF

        Keep you teaching Squirrel, instead of driving an oil tanker truck. Pay more money, get more qualified teachers,

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          I’d love to pay good teachers more. The problem is the teachers unions hate merit pay. We can’t give extraordinary teachers more without giving the less than extraordinary teachers more too.

          You liberals are always dragging us down to the lowest common denominator.

          • AV

            If you increase all teacher salaries, then the pool of potential teachers is larger, leading to the pool of teachers becoming better.

            “You liberals are always dragging us down to the lowest common denominator.” — Rob

            Yet again, you have it backwards. In your war on education, you seem to have been the first casualty. (Gun, meet foot.)

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            If we can’t set pay based on merit, what incentive is there for teachers to try harder?

            And if you don’t understand the lowest common denominator reference, I’m not the one the schools failed.

          • AV

            How do you measure performance objectively?

            Whatever rules you come up with, smart people will figure out how to game them, and you are likely to get worse outcomes. (This is a common topic of research in psychology, so there are many studies showing this.)

            IMHO, getting better people (on average) to want to teach, instead of trying to coerce bad teachers, seems like a better strategy.

      • AV

        Paying teachers more means that the number of people that might consider becoming teachers is larger, and (hopefully) leading to the average teacher quality being higher.

        For example, 90% of high-school science teachers have no formal science background (beyond high-school). Anyone with a science background typically makes a lot more money than a teacher.

        P.S. Another example, a lot of these anti-evolution loonies are teachers – the nations children are being educated by buffoons.

    • Opinion8ed

      We went the smaller class size route and the only thing we saw was test scores go down

      • WOOF

        Back it up.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      There is no direct link between class sizes or teacher pay and academic outcomes.

      • WOOF

        There is in the mind of every parent. Fight the power.

  • wj

    Home schooling is not covered by the bill. It only applies to accredited schools and, under North Dakota law, home schools are not “schools.” That is why it is called home education.

    The Blaine Amendment is a disgraceful relict of a bigoted past and should be repealed, but it probably would not make this legislation unconstitutional. Many states have Blaine Amendments and have been able to provide some assistance to parental choice. The key here is that the money used in the bill does not come from money raised for the public schools.

    Rob has correctly pointed out that allowing parental choice does not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause because the fact that the money might go to a religious school is the result of a free choice by the parent, not an act by the state in support of religious schools.

    The real issue here is that we need to stop equating “public education” with “public schools.” Public education should be the state’s provision of education no matter where the parent chooses that education to occur.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I actually just interviewed Rep. dosch and you’re right about the home schooling part. I’m making a correction now.

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    I’m a public school teacher, but my concern with this bill is not the obvious one.

    If tax money is used to support private/religious schools, does that give the state control over the private school? I will cite two schools that went all the way to the US Supreme Court to learn that the answer is “yes.” They are Grove City College and Hillsdale College. This was over scholarship money and Title 9. Because students at those schools had federal scholarships, the government said they were subject to government regulation. This is why I was unable to get a federal scholarship (or a state scholarship) when I attended Grove City College. They preferred independence over cash.

    What frightens me about this is the idea that private schools could be sucked even more under the control of the government. I’ll happily compete with a private school. I do not want to see private schools subjected to government control because they are taking government money.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      If tax money is used to support private/religious schools, does that give the state control over the private school?

      I’m not sure that this gives the state any more power over private schools than they already have. It’s been the policy, for about as long as we’ve had private schools in the state, for the legislature to set the standards they must meet.

      So if you’re afraid of the state micromanaging the schools, they can pretty much already do that.

      • Waski_the_Squirrel

        If that’s the case, do we have private schools in this state? Or do we have taxpayer supported schools and non-taxpayer supported schools?

        I have wondered why private schools in this state have to hire certified teachers. I don’t mind them using the state tests so much: this is to the school’s benefit if it’s a good private school because the test is a measure that allows parents to compare educational outcomes of the private school versus the local public school. The state should not mandate curriculum (though the school should use the Common Core Standards out of the best interest of the student).

        The future is more frightening to me than the present. Title 9 could end up being more rigorously applied to high school sports and even academic programs. If a private school is taxpayer supported, even this way, does it still get to select its students? My school can’t because it is taxpayer supported. We have to take whatever shows up at the door.

        Another question I just thought of is the dollar amount. It is much more expensive to educate a student in Grenora Public School than in Williston Public School. If a student from Grenora enrolls in the private school in Williston, does the private school get 25% of the Grenora money or the Williston money? If it’s a share of the money where the student is enrolled, the Grenora parents get a bigger benefit from the bill than the Williston parents.

    • Yogibare

      Perhaps the proper way to do it is to issue the education dollars to the Child/parent, they can choose who will be hired to educate the person.
      Looks to me like Shiloh or St Mary’s would take the money and there would be no question about the State giving/supporting religion.

  • Lynn Bergman

    Great bill; Constitution not a problem. The ND Supreme court does unhold it anyway; just ask Curly Haugland or Bob Hale.

  • Stuart

    First of all its obvious the Unions abhor this idea, and will put out as much propagans as they can to any state or the tax payers in general that this is a bad irresponsible behavior and legislature regardless of he success of private schools.

    To claim that tax payers money is only to be deligated to public education is Union propaganda and their own sophistic tactics.

    I am personally for vouchers as its working in states like Wisconcin. How much proof do we need before we are convinced? Secular humanism is teaching our kids they have power in the classroom to disrupt, cause chaos , and mock and taunt the teachers leading to a hostile educational environment. And many parents think their kids can do no wrong or don’t care at all!

    You go ND Legislature., Forward ! Representative Scott Kelsh will vote against this legislature I have little doubt.

  • Stuart

    Years ago I taught, and the process needed to deal with an unruly child was this. First you send them to the office.
    Next you get the principle and teacher involved to see and understand what the problem was.
    Then you’d have to get he Parents involved if you could get them to come in.
    The last t hing in the process was the teacher had to rearrange the Curriculum to suit the child’s ability.i

    This was back in the 70’s. it’s much worse now in my opinion. And now the students can file suits against their own parents and apply for government protection and custody by lying or claiming unruly parents and are encouraged to do so by their teachers without full knowledge of the incidents. If I am wrong please correct me.

    My children came home and told me they could report me to their teachers and get me thrown in jail for spanking them., I told them before I quit disciplining
    them I would go to jail just for principle. That scared my children because i was a single parent at he timeMy kids turned rather well. One has a Doctorate degree.the others are all making $45-55 thousand a year with strong emphases in Computer Science.

  • D

    Remember everyone, the 25% (dollars) being given back to private schools is not there’s, it is my or your dollars. Using my dollars does not give anyone any rights. Especially in my child’s education.

  • Yogibare

    Why not allocate the money to each student/family and let them decide where their kids will go to school.
    Interestingly, the Pastor who did a prayer breakfast this past week suggested to President Obama that the federal government get out of the business of running everything and allocate a given amount of money to each and every citizen—let the citizens decide how they spend the money on healthcare, education, etc.
    President Obama was not impressed by that statement.

  • JoeMN

    Here is an article on the details of Minnesota’s school choice program

    http://www.startribune.com/opinion/188596381.html?refer=y

    One very noticeable change as a result is actually in the public schools.

    They are now much more responsive to parents due to the fact that some money is tied to the student.

  • broadway Joe

    I send my kids to private school and I prefer that no state or federal money go to my school. Once government gives money to anyone they own and control them. I say that you should get a tax credit if you send your child to a private school, this way we don’t have to muddy the water with state money going to private school.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Well, first, nobody is saying your school has to take the money. The schools could certainly turn it down.

      Second, the state is already in control of your school. The standards your school must meet are already being set by the legislature. This wouldn’t change that or add anything new.

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