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Gov. Dayton's veto last year hurt progress.
A quick google search shows that Patrick J. Wolf is also affiliated with the Friedman Foundatiion (yes, started by neo-liberals Milton & Rose for the promotion of voucherising the school system), darlings of the Heritage Foundation and ALEC. Why do I see flares going off while I hear a voice yelling "Danger, Will Robinson!"?
Thank you!! We need to hear more about empowering children and families instead of "trickle down education" that empowers unions and their bought and paid for politicians.
As the author states, Minnesota already has open enrollment and free public charter schools. He doesn't mention that we also have metro area Integration School districts with free tuition and busing to their magnet schools. Anything more than this is just the political right trying to undermine public education. We have plenty of school choice. We do not need state money flowing to private schools, period. And for Pete's sake, while Wisconsin schools are laudable, please don't compare Minnesota public schools to those in Louisiana, Arizona, or Washington D.C.! Are you kidding me?
I don't necessarily oppose vouchers for private schools, but I do have some questions. Are private schools required to accept the voucher as payment in full? Are they required to accept students with profound disabilities? Profound learning challenges? Profound behavior problems? Or are they simply allowed to pick and choose students based on other criteria? (Please, no snarky answers. I intended this to be a serious question.)
Lets see. Minnesota ranks second to Iowa when SAT and ACT scores are combined. Yep, We have a problem here.
I have absolutely NO problem with my tax dollars going to families who want to choose a private school to get the optimal education for their kids. In fact, it's highly likely that those families, who care enough to researcu private and public school quality, will make sure that their kids get the family support they need to succeed in school. Offering vouchers for private schools would force the public schools and teachers' unions to improve the education product they offer to our state's kids. Let the public schools compete with the private schools for our tax dollars. If the teacher unions want their members to have public school jobs, then they will drop their opposition to merit pay, performance evaluations, and other measures to improve the quality of education delivered. They complain about performance evaluations potentially not being fair - then why do public and private companies use performance evaluations, however flawed, to rate and pay their employees? Why do the unions insist that performance evaluations and terminations for poor performance be perfect and perfectly fair? Answer: because they don't want their members' jobs to depend on good performance.
MN has everything Wolf claims he wants from schools - EXCEPT his precious voucher. I'll gladly support vouchers if the private school in town lets me run for public election to its board of directors.
I don't believe private school tuition is tax deductible in MN as the author claims.
Correction: “Minnesota provides a tax credit and deduction covering educational expenses for students in any public or private school, including homeschooling. Both cover books, tutors, academic after-school programs, and other non-tuition educational expenses. The deduction includes tuition payments at private schools; the credit does not.”
We need to all get behind making the public school system the best there is and stop trying to siphon public money away from the "good of the whole".
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