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Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Old 05-16-10, 03:49 PM
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Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Something i've been wondering for so long is why there is so much opposition to school vouchers.

I understand the ideological arguments - that we're opening the door (realistically speaking, not necessarily a slippery slope argument) to having schools that teach racist/sexist rhetoric, but given that students who attend those schools probably won't be accepted into colleges in great numbers, and we already have pretty far-right and left wing private schools that still manage to perform excellently academically, I don't see that as a major stepping stone.

I've also heard the argument that vouchers simply won't cover enough of the costs for private schooling, but it doesn't completely discount funding for public schools.

It's possible that it could create even greater difficulties for the lower classes and poorly performing students because they would be left behind at the worst schools that would have diminished funding, but there are tons of special and charter schools as well as private tutoring centers that aim to help students who have fallen considerably behind catch up to their peers, but parents as is are simply not able to send their kids there due to lack of choice or lack of funds.

So what is it that's holding school vouchers back?
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Old 05-16-10, 03:57 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

1. Vouchers take money from the public schools and tranfer them to private schools. I'd rather see that money used to improve public schools.

2. All of the arguments people make against financial aid in higher education apply here, too -- basically, that you are increasing demand without increasing supply, which leads to higher tuition without comensurate increases in quality.
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Old 05-16-10, 04:12 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

because vouchers and the whole idea of private schools is idiotic and a waste of money. except in cases where people send kids to private schools for religious reasons or they are a special elite school that costs a ton of money and only take the smartest kids.

at least half of your child's school performance depends on you as a parent.
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Old 05-16-10, 04:23 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Because more people would be able to vote with their money and send their kids to schools that teach them better than the ones the government currently makes them go to. The teacher unions don't like that those private schools aren't under their control.

I had no choice and had to send my son to private school for 8 years because the public school here stinks. They've been throwing more and more money at the public schools here for many years (over $17,000 per student the last I saw) but no amount of money is going to improve them enough for anyone who wants a good chance at a successful future.
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Old 05-16-10, 04:32 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

plenty of good public schools. you just have to live in the right area. why pay for private school when you can spend the same money to live in a better area, have more tax deductions and higher home value when you sell?

there are some districts in NJ with insane property taxes where people sell as soon as the kids graduate HS and move to a lower tax area
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Old 05-16-10, 04:40 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
there are some districts in NJ with insane property taxes where people sell as soon as the kids graduate HS and move to a lower tax area
NJ has some of the best public schools in the country, and the insane property taxes to go with them. I don't fault anyone who does that because at least their kids get an education. In FL parents can choose between horrid public schools or expensive mediocre private schools.
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Old 05-16-10, 04:59 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
plenty of good public schools. you just have to live in the right area. why pay for private school when you can spend the same money to live in a better area, have more tax deductions and higher home value when you sell?
Your general statements don't apply in my, and many other situations.
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Old 05-16-10, 05:25 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

True, but why should other people pay higher taxes to support personal choices of others?
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Old 05-16-10, 05:30 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
plenty of good public schools. you just have to live in the right area. why pay for private school when you can spend the same money to live in a better area, have more tax deductions and higher home value when you sell?
Are private schools that expensive?

First link that I could find: Private Schools Cost Less Than You May Think

According to the above it's, the cost of private schools is an average of $ 3,300 a year. For elementary schools.

According to this: College Scholar Ships link Private schooling for highschoolers is between 10k and 30k. Ouch.

From a Yahoo answer people were saying it's as low as $ 3k.

If it's around 3k for some private schools, that's considerably cheaper than moving to a more affluent area with a better public school.

My elementary school was pretty good. Then I went to middle school and 4 different high schools and they all had huge gang problems and a fair share of bad teachers.

If I had kids, I would definitely do with out some luxuries in order to send them to a private school.
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Old 05-16-10, 05:51 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

$3300 a year won't get you a good private school in NYC. More like $10000 for a decent one.

Even at $3300 a year I can get a better deal moving to a better area
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Old 05-16-10, 06:14 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

But don't vouchers help a family who would get a better education for their kid in an otherwise bad environment and low-quality teachers?
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Old 05-16-10, 06:51 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
plenty of good public schools. you just have to live in the right area. why pay for private school when you can spend the same money to live in a better area, have more tax deductions and higher home value when you sell?

there are some districts in NJ with insane property taxes where people sell as soon as the kids graduate HS and move to a lower tax area
Yea, but why can private schools do it so much cheaper? I spend 7k total for 2 kids in a private school (about 350 kids) and the state average here in KY is over 8k. And my rate is higher because I am not a member of the parish.

And the public schools run more fundraisers here than ours.
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Old 05-16-10, 07:01 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

I'm a public school teacher and I don't have a problem with it. I think there should be certain goals that should be set in order for the student to continue to receive aid like GPA, attendance, and requiring parents to attend events like open house night and parent conferences.
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Old 05-16-10, 07:06 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Originally Posted by BKenn01 View Post
Yea, but why can private schools do it so much cheaper? I spend 7k total for 2 kids in a private school (about 350 kids) and the state average here in KY is over 8k. And my rate is higher because I am not a member of the parish.

And the public schools run more fundraisers here than ours.
Government has an unlimited checking account. Unlike private institutions which actually require fiscal responsibility. And where you find fiscal irresponsibility in the private sector...more than likely they have their hands dipped in government subsidies.

The states could be more responsible when it comes to education. But why change? Just bitch and moan and taxes increase--or worse, you get a special bond measure passed which fucks you in the ass big time in 5 or 10 years later.
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Old 05-16-10, 07:15 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Originally Posted by X View Post
Because more people would be able to vote with their money and send their kids to schools that teach them better than the ones the government currently makes them go to. The teacher unions don't like that those private schools aren't under their control.

I had no choice and had to send my son to private school for 8 years because the public school here stinks. They've been throwing more and more money at the public schools here for many years (over $17,000 per student the last I saw) but no amount of money is going to improve them enough for anyone who wants a good chance at a successful future.
Throwing more money at the problem is fine, as long as there's an incentive to improve. That's part of the problem with our current system. We keep feeding more and more money into a system that doesn't have any incentive to improve.

Part of the reason why is culture. We simply don't value our education as a nation. It's always the last thing to be considered when a tax increase is necessary, and the first thing to be cut when a budget deficit occurs.
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Old 05-16-10, 07:25 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Part of why private schools run things for so much cheaper, provide better education, pay teachers more is that they don't necessarily always hire teachers. They hire people who work and have experience in the field that they're teaching. They either have an extraordinary amount of experience or they're already qualified based on their educational background. Limiting hiring simply because teachers don't have a credential is stupid, as is hiring based solely on one.

Also, there are mostly fixed costs involved in running schools. Most of the variable costs are overhead costs and paying teacher's salaries. Every year, public high schools spend a huge amount of money paying for new books and materials when it's really not necessary because so little changes year to year. In fact, this provides a savings to private schools who buy up used textbooks, often only a year old, that are just as useful in instruction. So again, the agent-principle problem rears its ugly head because they never want to cut their budgets because it means less money the next year, so they always manage to find ways to spend more money.
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Old 05-16-10, 07:40 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Originally Posted by X View Post
The teacher unions don't like that those private schools aren't under their control.
That is because private schools can fire under-performing teachers, while public schools collect them like NASCAR commemorative plate sets. I am all for privatization of our public education system. Toss out the unions, convert to a pay for performance, and let the best school systems win. I don't care if the corporations running them make a big profit, as long as the schools they run produce better students for less money than districts are spending now.
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Old 05-16-10, 07:48 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Originally Posted by Superboy View Post
Throwing more money at the problem is fine, as long as there's an incentive to improve. That's part of the problem with our current system. We keep feeding more and more money into a system that doesn't have any incentive to improve.

Part of the reason why is culture. We simply don't value our education as a nation. It's always the last thing to be considered when a tax increase is necessary, and the first thing to be cut when a budget deficit occurs.
I've been pushing for school vouchers for years. Right now parents don't even think about the fact that they pay for their kids to go to school through their tax money. If they were handed a voucher and saw that REAL MONEY actually goes towards educating their kid and how much it's costing them I think, and hope, they'd be more involved in making sure their money is well spent.

California has been throwing more money at education forever and it's obvious that's not the right answer. Now we have a state full of crappy teachers enjoying a nice early retirement.
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Old 05-16-10, 08:19 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

I'm a private school. My tuition is $8,500 a year. Suddenly, hundreds of students from local public schools can come to my school with a government voucher. Wouldn't I simply raise my tuition, knowing many of my customers now have a lot more free money?
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Old 05-16-10, 09:02 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

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Old 05-16-10, 09:09 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Originally Posted by Superboy View Post
Part of why private schools run things for so much cheaper, provide better education, pay teachers more is that they don't necessarily always hire teachers. They hire people who work and have experience in the field that they're teaching. They either have an extraordinary amount of experience or they're already qualified based on their educational background. Limiting hiring simply because teachers don't have a credential is stupid, as is hiring based solely on one.

Also, there are mostly fixed costs involved in running schools. Most of the variable costs are overhead costs and paying teacher's salaries. Every year, public high schools spend a huge amount of money paying for new books and materials when it's really not necessary because so little changes year to year. In fact, this provides a savings to private schools who buy up used textbooks, often only a year old, that are just as useful in instruction. So again, the agent-principle problem rears its ugly head because they never want to cut their budgets because it means less money the next year, so they always manage to find ways to spend more money.
Most of the private schools in the Austin area pay a lot less than public. I am sure it varies from State to State.
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Old 05-16-10, 09:18 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Religious school vouchers are a no go because the Evangelicals will never pay for Islamic schools.

The teacher unions will never allow vouchers for private schools

the closest thing that will happen is a NYC model with charter schools where admission is based on competative exam. Or allowing kids to go to schools outside their district. But most people will never allow kids from the bad areas to go to their schools.
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Old 05-16-10, 09:20 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Originally Posted by yakuza70 View Post
I'm a private school. My tuition is $8,500 a year. Suddenly, hundreds of students from local public schools can come to my school with a government voucher. Wouldn't I simply raise my tuition, knowing many of my customers now have a lot more free money?
In the short term, maybe. In the long run, more people could afford to send their kids to private schools, so more private schools would pop up to meet the increased demand.
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Old 05-16-10, 09:38 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Vouchers were passed here in Utah by the Legislature, but the decision was reversed by a public vote. In Utah's case, the amount of each voucher was significantly less than the per-student spending, which meant that most of the money going to the public school system would have still gone there -- the difference was that there was now less students. Seemed like a win/win situation to me.
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Old 05-16-10, 11:03 PM
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Re: Why is there so much opposition to school vouchers?

Washington's voters have voted it down 3 times. I like the idea in theory. Here is what I don't like. It isn't a level playing field. If a private school can have whatever rules and standards it wants, they really aren't competing with public schools. They are giving parents a way to opt out of all the batshit insane regulations, etc. that public schools must live by. I think rather than making private schools have to live up to the regulations of public schools, we should let public schools live by the same standards as private. And by that I mean that you can kick out a kid who is a disruption and isn't there to learn. You can treat a kid with ADHD as a student you don't want to have in class rather than go with some hippy alternative plan that the special ed department comes up with, etc.

I think public education needs a fundamental change in how it is run and funded, but rather than do that, we try to make niche schools to skirt around that. Again, I understand why people do that because they are tired of trying to change a system full of hippie crap, but when I hear conservatives say, "let them compete and let the best system win," I think....you don't really mean that. You don't want a competition, you want a school that isn't hamstrung with government crap to compete against one that is. That isn't competition, but it is choice.
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