Funding Education

Discussion in 'Budget & Taxes' started by Levant, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Donor

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    In my new-member-welcome thread, these questions were asked with the intent, I assume, of gauging or understanding what I mean when I say I'm conservative. I'm replying to this here because, hopefully, it will get more interest in budget and taxes (since Doug1943's question asks about tax implications) than in my own welcome thread.

    First off, there is no mention of education in the Constitution. It is not an enumerated power of the Federal Government so the Federal Government is therefore, by the 10th Amendment, explicitly forbidden from getting involved in education. So, let's agree first that the only potential authority over education is in the hands of the States.

    So the two remaining questions on the table are:
    1. Can the taxes paid by those without children can be used to pay for the education of those who choose to have children?
    2. Are government vouchers an acceptable way to pay for education as an alternative to assignment to schools with no choice?
    1. The 10th Amendment reserves to the States all power not explicitly granted to the Federal Government or explicitly banned to the States. The Constitution does not ban the States from running education so it's up to the States, individually, to choose to run or not run education within their own borders. So, yes, it's legal and it's constitutional. Is it smart? No, it's not.

    Can you name a single program run by government that is run well, efficiently, in a productive and cost effective manner? I don't think so. Are our children of so little value that we give them the worst possible education? Would we search for and choose the worst dentist or doctor for them? When deciding in whose home we might let them spend the night, do we search out those parents who are crack addicts? Of course not. Why would we choose the worst possible education provider for them?

    2. Should the government take all of your pay and provide you vouchers for grocery shopping? Vouchers for government approved health care? When the government takes your money first and gives some of it back so you can spend it at approved providers, you still have no choice. There was a strong push against vouchers because the left claimed they violate some fictional separation of church and state but the Supreme Court ruled they did not. The Court continues to rely on the non-existent separation doctrine, at least they did not apply it in the case of school vouchers.

    A far better solution to education is for government to leave the money in the hands of those who earned it and allow them the freedom to choose how to educate their own children.

    The free market is an amazing thing. Even the poorest can band together, joining resources and finances, to create and fund their own schools. In the school year for 2015-2016, the average spent per child was $12,330 for the school year. The average student spent 6.5 hours a day for 180 days, or a total of 1170 hours, in school for the school year. That means we spent $10.53 per school hour per school student. In 2015, the average teacher in the US made $58,064 in wages. To pay the teacher that wage, it takes 4.71 (round to 5 since we can't divide the child) students.

    I am confident that for $58,064 per year you can buy, rent, or build a building to house 15 to 25 students. I am confident that, for another $58,064 per year you can buy books and supplies 15 to 25 students. Just 15 children are enough to fund a community or neighborhood school quite well. The only thing missing in this equation is the giant school administration system. The solution: let parents run the school system for their own children.

    Of course the liberal response to parents running an education system is how can they possibly manage to succeed at it? They most assuredly cannot do worse or as bad as government schools where US students, in 2015, were 38th in the world in math. In contrast, home schooled children outperform both public and private school children in standardized testing and private school children outperform public schools. Get parents in control of their own private schools and the results will be, at worst, similar to private schools today and, at best, closer to the results of home schooled children.
     
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  2. Doug1943

    Doug1943 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Okay, thanks for your reply. This is really a thread about taxation, not methods of education.

    I take it that your argument against tax-supported schools is a pragmatic one: people will educate their children better if they have to pay for it themselves. (And presumably this includes people on
    very low incomes). Their children would, you believe, still get a better education than they would with vouchers or in the current system.)

    I should have asked the next question along with the vouchers question: are you in favor of laws making it compulsory to educate your children, with some legal standard of education set out?

    And while we're at it ... although this is not directly about education: would you favor auctioning off the National Parks? Or would you support their government ownership, if the government concerned was a state government, rather than the federal. Of course the parks, whether federal or state, are paid for by taxes, including taxes on people who have no interest in them at all.

    Finally, what about the police and military? If someone is willing to defend himself,should he be forcced to pay taxes to support a police force and military that he has no use for and does not want to support?
     
  3. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Donor

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    They can 't get a worse education than they're getting in the current system.

    Here's a list of free educational sites for home schooling parents. If a handful of home schooling parents get together in a room or building, they're still homeschooling parents while sharing the teaching duties. I've taken several Kahn Academy refresher courses in math to refresh my 50 year-old skills for my job in data analytics. They're great courses. The free market is a wonderful thing and needs get filled.

    Good question. I hope we agree, we all should, that there's no constitutional authority for the Federal Government to have such laws but there's no such restriction on the States. The states have those laws and standards today and yet, as I linked above, our cities and states fail to deliver their end. Parents deliver their children to the schools and the schools teach them Karl Marx but not basic reading, science, and math.

    The schools make a valid point that parents need to participate - though the schools ignore that their focus is on Marx and not education. So it seems the schools want to focus on the ideology of our children (which should come from the parents) and leave the readin', writin', and rithmatic to come from the parents - which should come from the teachers.

    Even uneducated parents can work hard, starting ahead of their children, and teach themselves one step ahead.

    There is state interest in protecting those natural treasures. Transfer all the parks to the States. There are certainly Federal and State parks that I don't think should be parks but there's nothing that prevents the States from having them as parks. That's the beauty of our republic; if you don't like what your state is doing, you can work to change it locally. Not so easy at the federal level. I accept that it is within the authority of my local and state government to do stuff that pisses me off... in fact, I think it's in the State Constitution that they are required to piss me off. That's OK. I guess if I have had enough I'll get off this forum and start working to replace some of them.

    Police are state and local, neither authorized for the Federal Government, nor prohibited for the States, by the Constitution. Any federal police forces, in any department of the government, need to be abolished except District police within D.C.

    Police, at the state and local level, is a price civilized societies pay. They should be accountable to the community they serve; they're simply employees paid by the community to represent a greater strength than the single citizen, so that they can protect the community.

    Of course we've allowed police to become the armed enforcement branch of an out of control government, taking their jobs to be law enforcement rather than peace officers. I don't agree we should have law enforcement officers; I believe we should have peace officers.

    The military is provided for in the Constitution - both the militia and the idea of a standing army. Like most things the Founders intended, we've bastardized that, too. We need to get back closer to what the Founders intended and created but that we have police and military are both reasonable functions of government.
     
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  4. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't exist, nor would we want it to. Education's role is straightforward: investing in a country's human capital, acknowledging that it is a merit good and that any inequality of opportunity is destructive. Right wingers ignore inequality of opportunity. Ultimately they celebrate class conflict. That isn't just selfishness. It also is destroying the potential of working class kids.

    Only comprehensive education (and subsidised further and higher education in favour of the poor) will maximise well-being.
     
  5. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Donor

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    How's that working out? Is public education leading to educational equality today? Are you suggesting that inner-city minorities get the same education quality as the suburbs? Your argument is ridiculous and nothing more than talking points delivered to the otherwise-ignorant left in the United States and the world. We have far more than enough real world experience with state-run education to destroy your arguments. Your arguments are more of the destructive racism of the left but, unfortunately, many like you don't even know you're being played.

    Leave it to capitalism and education would be the best in humanity. Tie profitability to education performance and children will learn like never before. Yes, the free market is the only way to go.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
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  6. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    Not quite, given the additional inequalities (e.g. social capital and cultural capital). However, it is certainly true that comp education has been the most successful at producing a level playing field.

    This is rant.

    Not even right wing economists agree with that, given they accept that- at the very least- education is a merit good and therefore underprovided by the market.

    But heck, let's play your game. Please refer me to an economic piece of research in support of your stance. Don't dodge or just provide a url from a site funded by big business.
     
  7. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Donor

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    Education is the balancing agent that could resolve the social and cultural capital discrepancies but it fails to do so - in fact, it is a major contributor to the differences. The education system refuses to teach anything other than dependency in the urban schools.

    Education is under provided by the market, that is true. It is because the government owns the market and has taxed the population to the point that they accept the government service they already paid for because they can't afford to pay for two education systems - the government one and the one their children actually need.

    Why would I provide economic research? Research is done by universities with their own socialist agenda to match yours. How about this link to people making lots of money providing success in education?
     
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  8. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    It does seem that a post-truth outlook has run amok amongst the right wing. I remember the good ole days when they at least pretended evidence was on their side. Since then cognitive dissonance has twinned with the authoritarian personality to generate your type of response. Its as if education's fine-tuning of critical appraisal never actually existed....
     
  9. tkolter

    tkolter Well-Known Member

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    Have to admit schools were better when States and local communities had control so why not let them handle things?
     
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  10. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Donor

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    You asked for theoretical evidence - called research. I gave you facts. Facts trump research... You lose.
     
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  11. tkolter

    tkolter Well-Known Member

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    My take if it matters is we must decide what we want education to do if its preparing people to be employed productively K-12 ending in them employable and other goals secondary then we are doing a piss poor job and what I feel must be the main goal with higher education preparation for only our best and most dedicated students likely the top third if one includes community college in that. Then the rest should focus on skills heavy preparation in various areas needed at least to be advanced standing apprentices but should leave ready to be employed when they can. But nope its all college prep ignoring most students shouldn't go with the number of drop outs and big debt for useless degrees.

    If its for other reasons like send everyone to colleges then expect students to fall out of that left with nothing when they fail in High School because save for going to a private school and them letting me apply accounting classes for math credits I wouldn't have graduated - I failed Algebra II and Geometry twice each. I just didn't get them. In public school I would have dropped out likely once I could at sixteen. There would be no use trying.
     
  12. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    No, you gave me rant. Its only the post-truth outlook that believes rant translates into fact. Research provides testable evidence. It doesn't have to be theoretical. Indeed, most will be empirical and focused on hypothesis testing.

    Why can't you refer to any evidence and why are you 'purely' reliant on dogmatic cliche?
     
  13. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Donor

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    Really? Actual people making actual money in providing quality education is rant? Yes, I know... Research shows that it is not possible to make money providing quality education, the hell with the facts. Hypothesis is real and real is dogmatic cliche. Got it. What an upside down world the left lives in.
     
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  14. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    You say nothing. I'd get more sense at a youtube video on dogs passing wind. Present evidence. Stop hiding. The dogmatic are churlish tosspots of no value.
     
  15. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Donor

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    I gave you facts with absolute proof and yet you want a theoretical paper. Nothing more I can do but I never had a thought that I'd convince you; my posts are for those who have actual [open] minds.
     
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  16. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    Spreading your arse and grunting its "absolute proof" only describes an irrelevant position. Unless you can justify your position with peer reviewed evidence you might as well just bath in baked beans and suggest beans righteousness. I wouldn't be surprised mind you if you instantly bought up a 1000 tins of beans.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
  17. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Donor

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    Exactly... peer reviewed opinions rather than actual facts... unbelievable. No wonder our schools are what they are. I'm quickly getting to understand that you're making your living in the public education field...
     
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  18. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    Ironically it looks like you need an education into statistics. Hypothesis testing allows robust testing, allowing particular argument to be rejected without ad hoc opinion over value.
     
  19. Adfundum

    Adfundum Moderator Staff Member Donor

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    Hi, Levant,
    I'd like to ask a couple of questions for clarification. First, what is you experience in education? And second, in your opinion, what is the purpose of education?
     
  20. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Donor

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    I'm a high-school dropout with a GED. I quit school in my senior year of high school to join the US Navy (ran away and joined the navy when my high-school sweetheart broke up with me. )

    I had already taught myself electronics before joining the Navy, learned even more in the Navy, started my own electronics firm doing Navy contracts after I got out. Taught myself computers and Windows, got IT jobs, taught myself to program, and now I'm a manager of a large team of developers in a fortune 100 company.

    The purpose of education? Do you mean the purpose of learning or the purpose of the public school system? Or even of private education?

    Edit: I forgot to add the second romanticized side of my story... 18 months after joining the Navy I came home, got my high-school sweetheart, and we ran away to Reno in the middle of the night and eloped.. We will celebrate 47 years of marriage this year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
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  21. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Donor

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    I could teach the course in Statistics. I do data analytics every single day. I manage a large team of data analysts and put together the training program to bring new analysts into our analytics team. I'm not a data scientist - don't have the math background, but I successfully use the same tools they use every day. I learned statistics in the Navy when I worked for Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force (COMOPTEVFOR) doing analytics on new electronic warfare systems in the 80s and have done statistical analysis ever since.

    One thing you're clearly missing in your own education: statistics don't come from theory. Statistics is the study and analysis of DATA, not theory or hypothesis. No hypothesis ever has generated a single tuple of data. Not one, not ever. That's why I gave you DATA and not educated guesses
     
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  22. tkolter

    tkolter Well-Known Member

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    I wanted to add there is a real critical shortage in the building and construction trades these can lead to self-employment and all pay well. Fact an Amish family all trained in carpentry and similar work most with two or three union credentials are earning if I recall over thirty dollars per hour this the youngest member his grandfather supervises earning over double that. All only graduated 8th grade! Now could we get someone into this work from secondary school - easily. We used to in Technical High Schools before we decided to largely stop. Just focus two thirds of the credits preparing students to work or enter higher instruction at an advanced level. And add other areas coding and culinary arts and other areas.
     
  23. Adfundum

    Adfundum Moderator Staff Member Donor

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    Wow! Pretty impressive. Not only did you have talent, but had the will to do all that (and thankfully, the opportunity).

    My oldest son went into the Navy instead of going to college. He did quite well as an ET. That got him some work with one of the contractors which led him to the job he has now as a senior systems analyst for a natural gas company. He didn't do well in high school--barely made it through, but like you, he excelled after his experience in the Navy.

    When you were in high school, did you show that kind of ability and drive? I ask this because I'm curious about how effective our testing system is, and how that's affecting schools. I've run into many who were not so good in school, but die quite well after school.
     
  24. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Donor

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    I went to school a total of 37 days in the 9th grade, and not many more days in the 10th and 11th. Well, I did attend one whole semester of the 11th and got straight As that semester.

    I was intelligent but the late 60s and early 70s were tough times for a lot of people, including a white kid living in black neighborhoods. I avoided school for my own safety.

    I had an electronics teacher in high school that was retired Navy. He suggested that I go in the Navy if I really wanted to learn electronics - I already knew everything he was teaching in the class. So when I was looking to run, the Navy made perfect sense. It made me grow up. Now if I wasn't where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there, it wasn't a scolding from my mother I was going to get; it was brig time. Being in the Navy taught me responsibility and to follow rules, lessons no one before had ever been able to get me to learn.

    I excelled in the military culture. Thanks to that, I learned to take responsibility for my own actions and it helped me down the path that I've been on the rest of my life. Had I not gone in the Navy I would likely be dead from drugs, in prison, or, at best, a bum.
     
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  25. Adfundum

    Adfundum Moderator Staff Member Donor

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    Thanks for the reply. It sounds like a rather harsh environment for school. It's good that you had the ability to do well for the short time you were there. That does say something about your intellectual abilities.

    Getting back to the topic, can you tell me what you think should be the purpose of education? Some see it as totally utilitarian in preparing students to gain employment. That often means they see no reason to include things like the arts as part of the educational process. Others see it as a broader kind of preparation, not just for employment, but for life in general and that the arts are a part of broadening our understanding of humanity. Do you see it as either of those? Something other than those? Can you say why you see it that way?

    I don't mean to come across as nosy or anything like that, I just like to know how much thought we put into forming our opinions of education.
     

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