PO EDITORIAL: Tuition vouchers -- bad idea pushed to top of list

It's the start of a new policy era in Harrisburg, led by a new supermajority controlling legislative agendas and executive functions. Full Story
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Interested Observer

Chambersburg, PA

#1 Feb 9, 2011
My, My, we certainly would not want parents to have that kind of decision making authority would we?
Dave

Chambersburg, PA

#2 Feb 9, 2011
We fund an educational system that is free to the student.

Take advantage of that or pay to go elsewhere.
Stanley

Greencastle, PA

#3 Feb 9, 2011
"This is a crucial time for the many schools that have heavily invested in efforts to meet and maintain mandated federal accountability standards." What's really needed is to get the federal government out, totally out, of public education. Unfunded mandates from the "experts" in Washington should be ended. Big government and the teachers unions have not improved public education and the federal government should get out of education. Period.
anon

Greencastle, PA

#5 Feb 9, 2011
How about taking that "voucher money" and using it to revamp those failing schools???? You have some kids who really want to learn and are in a bad area/situation then you have others that just don't care. Are they to get vouchers also because they are failing?
Anon

Mercersburg, PA

#6 Feb 9, 2011
What percentage of teachers in public schools send their children to private schools? I bet its higher than what you would expect.
huh

Chambersburg, PA

#7 Feb 9, 2011
It's frightening that people will be quick to accept this Bill without having a single clue as to the long term ramifications to the education of our society. This is not a meaningless argument that can be settled by two sides blathering angry opinions. Any major reform like this (which has not been done on this scale ANYWHERE yet) needs to be fully debated and researched.

Yes, there are tremendous problems at many schools in the state. However, we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water by potentially gutting the funding to the schools that are performing well. We should find ways to improve the underperforming schools while maintaining the support for the ones that are doing well.

None of us knows what a change like this will do, so before everyone just jumps on the voucher-bus (actually, I guess "bus" is a bad metaphor since private schools don't usually provide transportation) I think we all need to take a step back and do some research.
World Inspector

Chambersburg, PA

#8 Feb 9, 2011
The voucher system, as currently being proposed, with no requirements for private schools to take any applicants, removing huge amounts of funding from public schools, and potentially promoting the rise of all sorts of oddball religious and ideological institutions, would accomplish 3 things.
1. Add at least hundreds of millions to the state's deficit.
2. End public education in Pennsylvania in a fairly short time.
3. Cause every sane person, especially those with children, to move out of the state.
As a lifetime Pennsylvanian, longtime supporter of public education who put 3 children successfully through our public education system from kindergarten through college, and someone who has put literally thousands of volunteer hours into improving public education over a 32-year stretch, somehow I don't want to see these things happen in my state... or anywhere!
Tea Party

Harrisburg, PA

#9 Feb 9, 2011
Any chance this bill is a starting point for debate? We will/should examine every aspect of this proposal. There may be some good points and there may be bad points. Can we not rush to judgement on the idea yet please?
numbers

York, PA

#10 Feb 9, 2011
Could the $9,000.00 be spent at the mall as that is where most of these kids receive their "formal" education.
huh

Chambersburg, PA

#11 Feb 9, 2011
Tea Party wrote:
Any chance this bill is a starting point for debate? We will/should examine every aspect of this proposal. There may be some good points and there may be bad points. Can we not rush to judgement on the idea yet please?
$150,000,000 added to the state deficit in the first two years is more than a starting point. It's a new entitlement program that's only bound to become $1.5 Billion and more if it takes hold.
Dave

Chambersburg, PA

#12 Feb 9, 2011
Tea Party wrote:
Any chance this bill is a starting point for debate? We will/should examine every aspect of this proposal. There may be some good points and there may be bad points. Can we not rush to judgement on the idea yet please?
This debate has been going on for 20 years or more.

Whether it is best for the kids or not has taken a back seat & become social issue agenda.

Fordguy

Harrisburg, PA

#13 Feb 9, 2011
Dave wrote:
We fund an educational system that is free to the student.
Take advantage of that or pay to go elsewhere.
I assume, then, that these parents can take their tax dollars with them. Fair is fair. Unless, of course, the goal is to fund the current education bureaucracy as opposed to ensuring that students are actually educated.

Most of us have moved beyond the outdated and stifling "one size fits all" approach to almost everything else in life...it's time to move ignore the reactionaries and explore new approaches to education, too.
Jenny

Greencastle, PA

#14 Feb 9, 2011
Public schools years back were led by Liberals who preached the gospel of inclusiveness, and putting students at various grade levels who do not speak English into classrooms with English-speaking students. The idea of mainstreaming and putting Special Ed students into classrooms is another that must be challenged. Ability grouping is what makes sense so the brighter students are challenged and teachers are not trying to cope with several ability levels in the same room.
Face the Facts

Aspers, PA

#15 Feb 9, 2011
Let face it...we must bring education into the 21st century or our students are not going to be prepared to compete in the global market in which we now live. Change is hard..yet it must happen.
pete

Newville, PA

#16 Feb 9, 2011
its not the schools that are failing. its the parents. the value of education lives or dies in the home.deal with it.
teacherb

Hagerstown, MD

#17 Feb 9, 2011
It seems to me that the conservatives in the state are going to be all for socking it to the public schools and starting a voucher program. Five years after it starts though they'll be complaining about how their tax dollars are going to put low income kids whose parents "just don't want to work" into pricey private schools.
Dave

Chambersburg, PA

#18 Feb 9, 2011
Fordguy wrote:
<quoted text>
I assume, then, that these parents can take their tax dollars with them. Fair is fair. Unless, of course, the goal is to fund the current education bureaucracy as opposed to ensuring that students are actually educated.
Most of us have moved beyond the outdated and stifling "one size fits all" approach to almost everything else in life...it's time to move ignore the reactionaries and explore new approaches to education, too.
You think public schools are one dimensional? There are multitude of programs & individualized approaches That one size fits all argument is just plain baloney.

We all pay school tax to support the state provided system. It is assessed whether or not you have kids. Therefore, whether you're a parent or not is irrelevant.
Why Worry

Chambersburg, PA

#19 Feb 9, 2011
Jenny wrote:
Public schools years back were led by Liberals who preached the gospel of inclusiveness, and putting students at various grade levels who do not speak English into classrooms with English-speaking students. The idea of mainstreaming and putting Special Ed students into classrooms is another that must be challenged. Ability grouping is what makes sense so the brighter students are challenged and teachers are not trying to cope with several ability levels in the same room.
wanting to Mainstream a special needs child has nothing to with liberal or conservative ideology. It's almost always the wish of the parents for their child to be given the opportunity to excell to the utmost of their ability. I never saw a Conservative parent wishing their child couldn't be mainstreamed
steelworker

Shippensburg, PA

#20 Feb 10, 2011
Stanley wrote:
"This is a crucial time for the many schools that have heavily invested in efforts to meet and maintain mandated federal accountability standards." What's really needed is to get the federal government out, totally out, of public education. Unfunded mandates from the "experts" in Washington should be ended. Big government and the teachers unions have not improved public education and the federal government should get out of education. Period.
I totally agree. Ever since the Feds got into public schools in the "70's" public education has been steadily moving downhill. It is a proven fact! If I have a child who is willing to learn, but surrounded by others who aren't and the teacher is wasting time with the others to try to get them to learn and less on actually teaching my child, where does that leave him or her. If I can spend our school dollars to get my child into a learning environment I should have the right to do that.
Bondo

Glendale, AZ

#21 Feb 10, 2011
Major writes "before forming an opinion about school vouchers..." and then he writes "...with another misguided mandate." Sounds like he has made up his mind. Where did this guy come from--certainly not Franklin County? I believe we need more choices regarding public education and this bill may provide it.

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