TEXAS MUST NOT BE TRAPPED BY PUBLIC VOUCHER SB 1
Donna Garner – Well-meaning people are supporting the Taxpayer Savings Grants that is making its way through the Texas Legislature right now. Rep. Sid Miller has authored HB 33 and has filed it in this Special Session:
First of all, the estimated two-year net impact of HB 33 is $195,530,669 through Aug. 31, 2013 (according to Fiscal Note). During today$B!G(Bs severe downturn in the economy, it would not be good to make any changes that would cost our state almost $2 Million.
However, there is something that is much more important than HB 33 having an immediate negative impact on Texas$B!G(B pocketbook. HB 33 would destroy the academic excellence of Texas$B!G(B private schools.
Please let me explain:
THE SHACKLES OF SPECIAL EDUCATION LAWS
I cannot support the use of taxpayers$B!G(B dollars for use by students going to private schools (e.g., Taxpayer Savings Grants) not because of the usual argument ($B!H(BIt would take taxpayers$B!G(B dollars away from public schools$B!D!I(B) but because if a private school takes one penny of public dollars, then that school would fall under the IDEA regulations (Special Education).
If a private school accepts any public dollars (federal or state funding) of any kind, then that private school falls under the IDEA laws and has to follow all the Special Education laws. In fact, teachers can be sued individually if they do not follow the IDEA laws to the letter.
It is the IDEA process that keeps teachers in the public schools from being able to hold students accountable for discipline and for academic standards. When the other students see certain students (IDEA-designated students) not being held accountable for their behavior, homework, attention to detail, testing standards, etc., then the entire classroom environment collapses.
IDEA holds teachers back from helping students to learn self-control, personal responsibility, and a solid work ethic. IDEA students soon learn how to play the system. Once that happens, they quit listening and participating in class, doing their homework, studying for tests, reading their books; and these “special education” students learn to follow other self-destructive patterns.
The IDEA law was originally written by Congress to hold schools accountable to guarantee each child equal opportunities for success. Now that has been completely twisted around. Schools have to guarantee each child equal outcomes. In other words, if an IDEA student chooses to sleep in class, not do his homework, or cuss the teacher, the law says the teachers must hold an ARD meeting. At that meeting, the attendees figure out ways for the teacher to add more modifications — not what the student can do to improve his behavior and efforts.
The ARD changes the expectations for the teacher by lowering the expectations for the student. The teacher has to allow the student to receive passing grades by lowering the reading level on the student’s materials/tests, by having someone read out loud the student’s books, by giving him fewer homework problems to do, by allowing someone else to write his papers for him, by giving him a set of notes without his having to write them, by giving him two questions on a test instead of ten, and other such modifications. If his acting out in class is considered to be a “part of his handicapping condition,” then the teacher cannot hold him responsible for that bad behavior.
When the switch in the interpretation of IDEA laws occurred (I am not sure of the exact date but probably around the early-to-mid 90$B!G(Bs), millions of struggling students quit struggling. Once they knew they would pass without having to live up to the expectations set for the rest of the classroom, they fell into the self-destructive trap.
In private schools that accept no federal or state funding, teachers are free to work with students individually. Yes, there are many “special education” students going to these private schools; but their teachers are free to hold them to expectations that meet the child’s needs. “Special education” students know that they have to follow definite disciplinary and academic standards in private schools, or else they will be expelled.
This means that parents of private school children are more dedicated to making sure their children study for tests, do their homework, and act right. There is no IDEA “escape route” that takes away a child’s right to fail!
With that IDEA escape route blocked, it is amazing how much better these struggling students do. They find out that they can learn; they can do their homework; they can pass tests; they can behave according to teachers’ expectations. The wonderful thing is that these “special education” students begin to raise their academic achievement through hard work and improved behavior; success breeds success. Pretty soon they find themselves rising above their at-risk problems, and many of these students go on to achieve great academic success.
Not only are the ”special education” students blessed, but the classroom environment is not ruined for the other students. Everyone is held to a higher standard; everyone must behave, do his homework, accept responsibility for his own actions. No one is allowed to pass to the next grade without demonstrating effort, self-discipline, and personal responsibility.
I speak from experience. I taught in the public schools for twenty-seven years and for four years in private schools. Most of the teachers who leave the public schools do so because they are frustrated by the IDEA laws that kept them from doing what was best for their students. Teachers take a severe pay cut to teach in most private schools; but the cuts are worth it to be able to teach in an environment where there is discipline, fairness, and personal responsibility on the part of students, teachers, and parents.
One penny of state or federal money will destroy the private-school environment and will put the school under the control of the federal government.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS TIED TO OBAMA$B!G(BS NATIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOL AGENDA
I am also afraid that if a private school takes one penny of public dollars, that school would have to follow the public schools$B!G(B curriculum. The reason parents put their children in a private school is because that private school can groom its curriculum around the values of that particular school.
I am afraid the Taxpayer Savings Grants would end up destroying the freedom that private schools enjoy. With the Obama administration taking over the public schools through Common Core Standards and Race to the Top, the idea of tying private schools to that federal agenda becomes all that much more frightening.
Private schools should not want to be tied in any way to the public schools$B!G(B curriculum requirements, tests, and/or IDEA regulations. Private schools need to be kept $B!H(Bprivate$B!I(B which means that their teachers and boards of trustees should decide what their students are to be taught and at what grade levels.
NEW VOUCHER PROGRAM IN INDIANA
Look what has happened in Indiana with their new voucher program:
On August 3, 2010, Indiana committed to the Common Core Standards and assessments. This means that the ISTEP (Indiana$B!G(Bs state tests) will be replaced with the national assessments that are tied to the Obama administration$B!G(Bs Common Core Standards. HB 1003, the new voucher bill passed by Indiana, will require private schools that accept the voucher dollars $B!H(Bto comply with state or national accreditation requirements.$B!I(B Private schools in Indiana that accept vouchers will be forced to indoctrinate their students into the Obama administration$B!G(Bs social justice agenda:
This is the way that the Common Core Standards and Race to the Top work. [The arrows mean $B!H(Blead to.$B!I(B]
National standards $B”*(B national assessments $B”*(B national curriculum $B”*(B teachers$B!G(B salaries tied to students$B!G(B test scores $B”*(B teachers teaching to the test each and every day $B”*(B national indoctrination of our public school children $B”*(B national database of students and teachers
8.3.10 — Indiana committed to Common Core Standards: http://www.doe.in.gov/news/2010/08-August/core_standards.html
Indiana$B!G(B New Voucher Program – HB 1003
Adam B. Schaeffer, Ph.D. May, 2011 Center for Educational Freedom Cato Institute 1
REGULATIONS IMPOSED ON VOUCHER-ACCEPTING SCHOOLS
BY INDIANA HOUSE BILL 1003
3) Requires private schools to comply with state or national accreditation requirements, annually administer the Indiana Statewide Testing for Progress examination (ISTEP), and submit both ISTEP and other progress and performance data to the state.
HB 1003 — Indiana Voucher Program — http://www.homeworkwatcher.com/pdf/hb1003.pdf
Myth #4: Vouchers funnel public dollars to private schools, yet taxpayers have
absolutely no say in how voucher schools are run. Further, private schools are not
required to meet basic accountability standards, such as open meetings and records
law, or to release test scores, dropout rates, and other basic information.
Vouchers or state funded scholarships fund kids, not schools. Participating private
schools are required to be accredited as well as administer the state’s ISTEP assessment.
As a result, these schools will be held accountable and subject to the state‘s proposed A-F
grading system. Furthermore, private schools are subject to the ultimate form of
accountability which is that if a parent is not happy with the education their child is
receiving they can remove them from the school. Also remember that programs like this
save states money because it is almost always costs less to educate a child in a private
school than their local public school, particularly in urban districts.
Indiana Senate Passes House Bill 1003
Legislation Empowers Parents, Provides Quality Options for Students – 1 Vote Difference
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Alex Damron, Press Secretary
The Indiana Senate passed House Bill 1003 today, empowering Hoosier families to select the best schools for their children. Approved by a vote of 28 to 22, the bill creates a needs-based voucher program for qualifying parents to send their children to participating non-public schools throughout the state$B!D(B
HB 1003 aligns with the national accountability movement by requiring participating schools to be approved by the state, administer the ISTEP and ECA exams, and receive A-F letter grades just like traditional public schools.
Enter your email to subscribe to daily Education News!
- Education Technology
- Teachers Unions
- Charter Schools
- California Education
- Education Research
- New York Education
- Online Education
- UK Education
- STEM Education
- School Choice
- Cost of College
- Education Funding
- New York City Schools
- Julia Steiny
- Florida Education
- Education Reform
- Parent Involvement
- Texas Education
- Los Angeles Schools
- Math Education
- C. M. Rubin
- Obama Administration
- Chicago Schools
- 2012 Election
- New Jersey Education
- Pennsylvania Education
- Tennessee Education
- Teacher Training
- UK Higher Education
- Early Childhood Education
- Louisiana Education
- College Admissions
- Teacher Evaluations
- School Health
- Ohio Education
- Illinois Education
- Arne Duncan
- UK Politics
- Michigan Education
Plan your career as an educator using our free online datacase of useful information.
- Select a Subject
- Biomedical Engineering Schools
- Computer Science Schools
- Public Administration Schools
- Select a State Subject
- Biomedical Engineering Schools in Louisiana
- Computer Science Schools in Iowa
- Public Administration Schools in Tennessee
- Select a City Subject
- Biomedical Engineering Schools in Baton Rouge
- Biomedical Engineering Schools in New Orleans
- Biomedical Engineering Schools in Ruston
- Computer Science Schools in Davenport
- Computer Science Schools in Des Moines
- Computer Science Schools in Sioux Center
- Public Administration Schools in Chattanooga
- Public Administration Schools in Cleveland
- Public Administration Schools in Cordova
- Public Administration Schools in Knoxville
- Public Administration Schools in Lebanon
- Public Administration Schools in Memphis
- Public Administration Schools in Milligan College
- Public Administration Schools in Nashville