Schools and Chicken Legislators

The highway that runs through the town we live in is the one Democratic members of the state legislature took recently when they ran like cowards from the state capitol of Madison to cross the Wisconsin/Illinois border so they wouldn’t have to vote against the teachers’ unions.

That event was still fresh in my mind this morning when I heard on the radio that Indiana legislators are now copying the Wisconsin chickens by crossing the border into Illinois to avoid voting on school vouchers.

How interesting that they’ll go to such lengths because they don’t want parents to be allowed to direct their tax dollars to the educational institutions of their choice.

The reason, of course, is that if all parents were to do that, the already shaky public school system would weaken, private schools would thrive, and homeschoolers would be able to use tax dollars to pay for the cost of homeschooling their children.*

I know many parents would still send tax dollars to the public schools, and that would be their right. It would also force public schools to cut back on the ridiculously high administrative costs they incur; I’m betting that the current $10,000+ per student per year average cost would drop dramatically. And that would be a good thing.

After all, when I was a kid, and we Baby Boomers clogged up schools all over the country, a school could be run with just a principal, a couple of secretaries, a librarian, a gym teacher and a few custodians. Also, there was no huge bloated district office running our school district; just a superintendent with an office staff. Why can’t this happen again? It should happen again, because in this economy, who can afford continually rising property taxes to pay for schools that can’t even teach most kids to read well?

*Personally, I wouldn’t take money from the government to homeschool my kids, because I don’t want them telling me what to teach. But all homeschooling parents should certainly have that option.

Homeschoolers Under Attack Again? Any Day Now….

President-elect Barack Obama’s daughters just finished up their first week at their new school, the pricey private-school-for-children-of-the-elite Sidwell Friends (the same school Chelsea Clinton attended). It has apparently earned favored status among hypocritical politicians who vote against vouchers and tax credits that would allow other children to attend the kinds of schools they choose for their own children.

In an op-ed piece in the Washington Times, writer Gary Jason reminds us of Obama’s anti-school-choice stance, then points out that the teacher’s unions that helped put him in office will surely use their newly acquired power to go after homeschoolers. Nevertheless, I found this to be quite an optimistic article.