My local newspaper, The Racine Journal Times, ran a front page headline recently that declared, “Voucher enrollment increases”. The article went on to bemoan the loss of money to the public school system that the Choice Program takes from them. It even said that these students are attending private school, “…on the public’s dime.”
Here is what happens – when a student chooses to join a participating Choice program school, $7754 follows him. That is money taken away from the local public system. Here is the interesting thing though, if that student were to stay in the local Unified public school, that system would spend $11,377 on his or her education. Each and every student enrolled in a Choice school saves the taxpayer $3623.
I guess the local paper and the taxpayers should all be applauding the money that the Choice Program saves the taxpayer. But the news media manipulates what the public thinks through the words they use. In fact aren’t all students attending a public or Choice school, “…on the public’s dime”? But those students enrolled in a Choice school are taking fewer public dimes. Isn’t that good?
Wording is everything. Why didn’t the headline declare, “More parents dissatisfied with public schools”? Why not, “Choice Schools saving taxpayers millions of dollars”?
As far as I am concerned in this internet age, public school systems are an anachronism, a hold out from long ago, and needed about as much as an operating manual. If you want to end bullying, violence, and racism in the public schools, eliminate the schools. We could easily educate our students at 1/10th the current cost. All that is needed is the will to breakup the bureaucracy. And anyone who wants their children in a private school can then pay for it themselves!