Battle for homeschool funding

Discussion in 'Education' started by kazenatsu, Jul 7, 2022.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    A legal battle for homeschool funding has begun in West Virginia.

    The state passed a law to allow families to be able to get state funding to help pay for private school tuition, homeschooling fees and several other expenses.

    But a state judge has now blocked the law from taking effect, with the claim that it would take money away from public schools and incentivize families to pull their children out of public school. (Public schools are given funding based on how many students they are educating)
    The female judge claimed in her ruling that the law violates the state's constitutional mandate to provide "a thorough and efficient system of free schools."

    Judge blocks West Virginia school voucher law | AP News, July 5, 2022

    Why do progressives on the Left seem to be so against homeschool vouchers?

    What is the REAL logic going on here?
    Yes, if parents homeschool their children, there will be less funding for the schools, but there will also be fewer students in those schools. The amount of funding per student will remain the same. And if only a fraction of students get homeschooled, this is not going to result in any schools closing or financially struggling.

    What this is really about, I think, is schools are afraid they will lose funding. The administrators of these schools will be in charge of less money, and maybe a few less teachers will be hired.

    They are afraid of losing their monopoly on education funding.
     
  2. wgabrie

    wgabrie Well-Known Member Donor

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    Yes, they are afraid and they should be. It's the teachers union and democrats who stand to lose from this.

    Anyone who passed high school is qualified to teach kids, unless they are not (Dad tutors his kid for a year, gets crushed after the boy scores 6/100 on math exam - Life (mashable.com)). But, many teaching jobs require college education to qualify. Which may not be necessary.

    Anyway, I was homeschooled, and when I moved up I found college to be way easier than I was worried about. So, not bad.

    I'm all for homeschool and school choice.
     
  3. wgabrie

    wgabrie Well-Known Member Donor

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    Ha ha, nobody has anything to say about homeschooling and school choice? LOL!
     
  4. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    IIRC, the issue that prompted this controversy was rural areas that didnt have enough population for a public school. It was cheaper to give them vouchers than build them schools. Did the judge decide thats no longer the case, or they just gonna make rural people pay for things they cant access?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2022
  5. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Yes, the parents could just get together and, with their vouchers, hire a real teacher (probably one of the parents with a teaching degree), and hold a class in a church room.
    Would probably be a much more effective use of money, with a lot less money spent and better results.
     
    modernpaladin likes this.
  6. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The cost of running a school isn't entirely based on the number of students though, because of overheads and fixed costs. A school going from 500 students to 450 students isn't actually going to be spending less money, especially in the short term. There are also costs as part of the entire education system which aren't eliminated by students going to private schools or home-schooling.

    Of course they are. What organisation would welcome the idea of receiving less money to do their job? That doesn't mean their fear is automatically down to selfish reasons.
     
  7. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That is a fair point, but if the economy of scale works so well, then public schools should be able to offer a better quality education at a far lower price than parents or private schools could provide, and then we wouldn't see these parents choosing homeschool or private schools should in the first place. That's obviously not the case. Parents are seeking what they perceive as better value elsewhere, so that economy of scale is not working too great.

    There is a flip side to what you say too. If enough parents in an area send their children to private school, then that private school will be able to offer a lower price and possibly better quality of education too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2022
  8. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The do on average. If a private school system or a home-school system had to support the education of all students, covering all ages, all the difficult and disruptive students (and parents!), all the special needs students, they generally wouldn't be able to do any better for everyone as state school systems do.

    I'm not opposed to private schools or home-schooling in principle. For some students and parents, they can certainly be the better option, at least for some part of their education journey. What I'm objecting to is the idea that they can be any kind of overall replacement for the education system. We'll always need some level of state provision, and if all of the students who have parents willing and able to put the time, effort and money (even with vouchers) move their children to other alternatives, that state provision will be left with the more difficult students, leading to additional costs and lower results.

    Ultimately, if people want to reinvent the education system, they need to come up with a system that takes account of all children and families, not just their own "special little angels".

    Many people certainly perceive better value elsewhere but that doesn't automatically make them right.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2022
  9. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Well that's not what I'm claiming or suggesting. (If you think that, then I think you have totally misunderstood the point of this thread)

    The argument is that if people are taxed to pay for education, then families with children should not be locked into that funding only paying for their children to go to public schools.

    Even if the state chooses to pay only 90 or 50 percent of what it costs them to educate that child in a public school, that is still much better than nothing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2022
  10. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I'm not saying you were but I feel it is at least the unintended consequence, if not the intention, of many of the politicians pushing this kind of thing.

    Sure, but as I say, we're not funding individual school places for each child, we're funding an education system which is designed to educate a constantly changing number of children. The idea of "cost per student" that is legitimately used in some specific contexts, is commonly misused as a more general concept that can or should be applied in this manner. It isn't anything like that simple.

    Again, it costs significantly more to educate 450 students in a school and 50 students in some other provision than it does to educate 500 students in the school. If you want a system that allows for this diversity of choice (which isn't a bad thing in itself), you have to accept that the overall cost will be higher and so more money needs to come from somewhere. Simply redistributing the current funding won't cut it.

    And if they don't cover the entire cost of these alternatives to parents, they're only really making them available with the time and resources to pay for them, which somewhat contradicts the idea of free choice.
     
  11. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I'm not sure that suspicion is fair. You're saying that just because conservatives want people to be able to have the choice to choose something else, they eventually want to eliminate the public option.

    Imagine if I accused Pro-Choicers of eventually wanting to implement a policy of forced abortion just because they were in favor of pregnant women being able to choose for herself whether she wants to get an abortion or not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2022
  12. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That's not necessarily true.

    Most of any overall increase in cost that might happen would be for the families of those 50 students going to private school.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2022

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