The Texas Legislature is back in session and that means lots of crazy schemes and outrages against public decency for me to talk about. Today the morally bankrupt leeches who spend our tax money to indoctrinate our children into a culture of complacent mediocrity are on the warpath.
It seems that the Texas Federation of Teachers is all stirred up and mobilizing the blue-hairs and public teat parasites to keep minorities oppressed and the poor in eternal servitude so they can make sure that their constituency can continue to fail again and again at communicating any kind of useful knowledge to our kids.
Representative Frank Corte of San Antonio has introduced a bill to allow parents of underperforming kids to have a voucher of about $6000 to let them leave the public school zombie mill and move on to a private school which might be able to address their needs more effectively, or at least give them a solid basic education. This is just what inner city activists like Reverend Sterling Lands have been begging for, some opportunity for underpriveleged kids to escape from the hopelessness of inner city public schools and get at least some chance at an education.
Here are some of the lies the TFT is spreading about school vouchers, as taken from the call to battle on their website:
The public might assume that HB 12 would allow poor children to attend the same private schools that children of wealthier families attend. If so, they would be misled. Under HB 12, a participating private school could charge a transferring student only the amount that would have been received by the student’s public school. Moreover, top private schools have very selective admission procedures and would probably decline to participate in a program that requires them to admit students with a poor or mediocre academic record.
But of course the voucher value of about $6000 allocated in HB12 is more than many existing private schools charge and is more than sufficient to justify the founding of special private schools tailored to the needs of the kids who the public school system is failing.
HB 12 would not apply the same accountability procedures for voucher-funded private schools that the legislature applies to public schools. Even though the Corte proposal would require voucher students to take the TAKS test, the private school would face no consequences from the state for low student performance. In addition, private schools receiving public funds under the bill would not face TEA audits to check that the funds are used appropriately or even legally. Nor does the bill require that teachers in the participating private schools be entitled to a minimum salary or health and retirement benefits.
What they don’t mention here is that most private schools in Texas provide equal or better pay for their teachers with less administrative harassment and far better working conditions that public schools in the same area, which is why the best teachers go to private schools instead of public schools. At the planned voucher value of $6000 and with the minimal administrative overhead of private schools (no bloated school district bureaucracy to support) teachers could be paid very well indeed.
Representative Corte and other voucher advocates claim that students ought to be given the ability to escape “failing public schools.” However, his record indicates that he has voted against efforts to strengthen public schools. For example, in 1997, he voted against a constitutional provision to guarantee equitable education funding for all children statewide.
A horrific bill which would have taken away local school board autonomy, massively increased bureaucratic overhead and reduced the funding and quality of education in many school districts, creating equality by lowering overall standards.
- In 1995, he also opposed class-size limits in elementary schools and supported a proposal to hire uncertified and untrained teachers.
This bill actually passed and is about the best thing ever to come out of the Texas State Legislature. For the first time it allows people who actually have degrees in academic fields to teach those fields in public schools without requiring them to have extensive class time in completely useless education courses. Prior to the passage of this bill retired distinguished professors from major universities who wanted to teach advanced classes in high schools would have to take almost a year of ‘education’ courses to learn to write lesson plans and fill out paperwork just to get into a classroom. Prior to this bill a professor of pediatrics would not have been considered qualified to teach 7th graders health and hygeine classes and a Supreme Court Justice would have been unacceptable as a teacher of basic civics.
- Teachers, superintendents, and a wide range of organizations that support public schools remain steadfastly united in opposition to private-school vouchers. Public opposition to siphoning taxpayer dollars out of the public schools for private-school vouchers also remains strong.
By this they mean that vouchers are opposed by teachers unions, parasitic school district administrators and legislators they have bought off. The truth is that providing a $6000 voucher per student would actually increase the funding per student who remained in the public schools because the actual revenue from taxes and other sources which schools receive per student is more than $6000, so the leftover would stay with the school to be used for other students or perhaps to fatten up the high six-figure salaries of district superintendents.
The TFT puts such a big emphasis on fighting this bill, because this is where their stranglehold on education is most vulnerable and where they are losing control over their traditional constituency. Years of poor performance with complaints met by callous indifference and demands for ever more money from teachers, administrators and legislators have alienated urban parents from the public schools not just in austin but around the nation. Anyone can do the math, and it’s obvious that voucher based private alternative education is a genuinely viable alternative. Inner city parents have finally realized this, know that their kids deserve better than they are getting now, and are finally willing to fight for it. Let’s hope they crush greedy power-mongers like the TFT and the NEA in their rush for educational opportunity.
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