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deadparrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-15-06 02:26 AM
Original message
Milwaukee Expands School Voucher Program
MILWAUKEE - The nation's oldest and largest school voucher program is about to undergo its biggest expansion yet with no clear-cut evidence after 15 years that sending youngsters to private school at taxpayer expense yields a better education.

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle signed a measure last month to increase the number of participants in the Milwaukee program from the current 15,000 students to as many as 22,500 next school year.

"This is an educational reform that works," said Susan Mitchell, president of School Choice Wisconsin, a pro-voucher group.

But with hundreds of millions of dollars invested, that assertion is still being debated.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060414/ap_on_re_us/milwauk...
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badgervan Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-15-06 03:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. Typical Repub Con Job
It might work ( and I say "might" - studies are conflicted ) for the small number of students who get enrolled, but it takes away important resources from the vast majority left in the public school system - and those resources are badly needed. Like much of repub "plans", a very few benefit ( maybe ), while the greater number not only suffer the effects - they end up paying for it!
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-15-06 04:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. This money goes to religious schools
It is what is keeping a corrupt catholic enterprise going

in order to pay off the now men (then years ago little boys) sodomized by the priests.
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rfkrfk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-15-06 04:35 AM
Response to Original message
3. OK, so more money is spent on each public school kid
what is the downside?

a side benefit to public schools would be
that a more homogenous student population
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-15-06 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Loads of downsides
1. While this is a program that "benefits" Milwaukee students only, everyone in the state gets to pay for it. Plus, it takes state aids from Milwaukee schools and increases property taxes locally.

2. Though these private schools get state money, they are not requried to meet state standards in teacher qualifications nor are they requried to give their students state exams which would truly demonstrate that their effectiveness or, more likely, ineffectiveness. This is because the pro-voucher people want to tout the program, say it works well, and continue to get all that state money without demonstrating the effectiveness of the program.

3. It funds religious schools who shouldn't be receiving state funds to provide religious based education. The religious schools, unlike other private schools, do not have to adhere to EEOC hiring practices and can discriminate against students who come knocking on their door with public funds in their hands.

4. There are no fiscal requirements on the schools to encourage solvency. To date, several schools have collapsed in the middle of school years, leaving students without teachers and proper instruction. One school that I recall was merely a front for the "owners" to scam as much money off the public coffers as possible.

5. It takes away the incentive for a community to improve their public schools. It's just easier to take the money and run than to get involved in helping all public school students get a better education. It divides communities into haves and have nots and removes a common cause that should bring them together.

Vouchers are essentially about privatizing public education. In Milwaukee, there are probably some good schools but there are no processes in place to know that. The bad, Haliburton-type schools keep making the front page news and will continue to do so until we start putting education before dollars.
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rfkrfk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-15-06 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. vouchers move the unmotivated elsewhere
to me, the biggest benefit to vouchers
is that those unmotivated to be in a public school,
move on.

those who want to leave, can leave

those who remain, want to be there
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tatertop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-15-06 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I cannot agree more
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badgervan Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-15-06 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Yes
Very, very well put. Must be a teacher.
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