How to take the public out of public education



Telford’s Telescope

September 2, 2014

How to take the public out of public education

Public education is a threat.

It really is that simple, and once you internalize the dangerous simplicity of that statement, it should become painfully clear why public education has come under attack. A good education provides freedom, the kind of freedom that should be enjoyed by all Americans regardless of background, race or ethnicity. A good education provides the qualifications necessary to acquire a good job, which provides the freedom to make a decent living, which provides the freedom to support a family and live a reasonably comfortable life. Certainly there are those who have managed to accomplish these things without the benefit of a great education, but I think we can all agree those numbers are few. And although it is true that a college degree no longer offers anywhere near the job security that it did once upon a time, I think we can agree that it provides a much better chance at security than a GED.

But there are those who aren’t interested in freedom, or at least not in freedom for all. Because freedom for all means equal access for all, which means fewer special privileges for the few which…well… is kinda scary for those few. So instead of embracing equality, these terrified yet mighty few prefer to work overtime (or to hire those who will work overtime on their behalf for a considerable sum)  ensuring that the few remain the few and not the many. Which brings me to the rather interesting article I ran across recently in the Daily Kos  discussing what’s going on in Wisconsin public schools entitled “The price of a ‘free’ public education turns out to be damn expensive”.

Pretty self-explanatory I’d say. I’d suggest reading the entire article, and here’s a peek to show you why:

“Thirty-three years ago when I started high school (GO PURGOLDERS!), my parents did not have to pay any fees for me to attend school. There were no fees for me to play football, and no fees for textbooks or consumables. As I recall, the only fees my parents paid while I was in high school were $20 for a season pass to all athletic events (total of $80 for four years), and $60 for driver’s education my sophomore year. That was it.

Now, 30-some years later due to a shifting of the tax burden from the wealthy and businesses, school funding has taken a hit. Now my taxes no longer cover what it costs to educate a child.

And yet, Article X Section 3 of the Wisconsin State Constitution states:

The legislature shall provide by law for the establishment of district schools, which shall be as nearly uniform as practicable; and such schools shall be free and without charge for tuition to all children between the ages of 4 and 20 years…

Well, this does not look like free to me:

Off-season football camp: $75.00
Athletic fee (per sport): $115.00 x 2 (Football and Wrestling)
Off-season Speed, Strength, and Conditioning: $70
Spirit Pack (Clothing required for football): $45
Activity Fee: $30.00
Consumable Material Fee: $17.00
Planner: $5.00
SCI111-Course Fee Yr: $4.00
Textbook Fee: $35.00
Gatorade Fee: $20.00 (Added fee for football to pay for post-game refreshments)
Optional Yearbook: $47.00
Optional Student Athletic Pass: $20.00″

Not only are our public schools being allowed to crumble and fail, but we, born with the mark of the Beast (otherwise known as the mark of not being rich), are being asked to use our own tax dollars to set fire to one of the last best hopes we ever had of achieving a better life.

If that’s not a crime I don’t know what is.

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