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Posted: 1/7/2006 4:06:01 PM EDT
NEA President Reg Weaver Calls Florida Supreme Court Decision a Resounding Rejection of School Voucher Programs
WASHINGTON -- National Education Association President Reg Weaver called today's Florida Supreme Court decision a resounding rejection of school vouchers and a crystal clear win for students, parents and public schools.

“The court said loud and clear that vouchers take resources, focus, and attention away from our neighborhood schools,” Weaver said. “Today's ruling echoes what NEA has said all along: we must strengthen our public schools so that all children, not just a few, have access to quality education.”

In a 5-2 ruling, the Florida Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional the so-called Opportunity Scholarship Program, the nation's first statewide school voucher program, noting that it violates the state constitution's requirement for a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality system of free public schools.”

“We support parents' right to send their children to religious schools, but oppose the use of public funds to do so,” said Andy Ford, president of the Florida Education Association, which brought the case. “Vouchers siphon money from already overburdened public schools, to private schools that charge for their services, select their students on the basis of academic or family or personal characteristics, and are accountable only to their boards and clients.”

The ruling strikes a major blow to Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the NEA noted. The voucher program has been the centerpiece of Bush's education platform, much like President George W. Bush has touted No Child Left Behind.

The court noted that private schools are not uniform when compared with each other or the public school system. They are exempt from many standards imposed by law on public schools, such as mandatory background checks on applicants, mandatory busing, teacher certification standards, and mandatory statewide assessments.

The ruling is the latest in a series of recent setbacks for those attempting to privatize education. In a recent decision, the Colorado Supreme Court struck down that state's voucher program, ruling that it violated the state's constitutional guarantee that local schools have the right to control local schools.

In another case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Washington state's ban on using state scholarships to study for the ministry does not violate a student's rights to practice religion.

This lawsuit was sponsored by NEA, the Florida Education Association, and a coalition of other labor, education, civil rights, and public interest organizations. The NEA and Florida Education Association attorneys were lead counsel. The court ruling allows the voucher program to continue in effect until the end of the Florida school year.

Jan. 6, 2006

# # #

NEA Contact:

Miguel Gonzalez, Public Relations, (202) 822-7758

Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:14:37 PM EDT
My kids go to a private school, but I still say no. The churches whose denominations are behind a particular school need to throw their support behind the schools more, though, or enrollment will continue to decline. They've simply made the tuition beyond the ability of many parents who would LIKE to send their kids to private schools.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:33:59 PM EDT
Vouchers are stealing, end of story. Putting guns in my face and threatening my life, while stealing MY money in order to give it someone else is wrong. If you support communist control over education than you are no better than some swine who steals some old crippled grandmothers purse on the streets. If you support communism than you are no better than some punk who breaks into peoples houses to rob them, but when they resist the punk guns them down in cold blood.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:38:40 PM EDT
vouchers would cause more problems than they fix
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:40:41 PM EDT
Vouchers SUCK! I am NOT a religious person, but my ex and I chose to put her daughter in a Christian school due to the difference in GPA's of private vs. public school children in our area. I had to pay $500 a month for this,(not counting the constant begging for time and or money), so why shouldn't Shaniqua, Jesus, and BillyBob's parents!?
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:40:45 PM EDT
My wife taught in a school about 5 miles from Washington DC. HELL YES I support vouchers.

BTW

Do you know how much the head of the NEA makes each year?............with salary, travel expenses, benefits, and cash allowances...over $490,000 !!!

Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:45:08 PM EDT
I won't support vouchers IF they refund (at least) part the cost of what your child would cost the local public school system IF he/she was enrolled in it.

ETA: we're homeschooling all of ours.Reloading 101,Target Aquisition,etc
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:46:16 PM EDT
If you want your kid to go to a private school that's fine but why should I be required to pay for it?
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:48:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CRC:“uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality system of free public schools.”


I just graduated from a Florida highschool 3 weeks ago. I can assure you it is definately not uniform, nor efficient, nor safe, nor secure, nor high-quality. The free part is in question as well.

Damn hypocrites.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:49:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:50:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:52:58 PM EDT
Vouchers, around here, are cheaper than the cost (per child) to run them from K to 12.

It depends on your area, but for here only, yes I do support them.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:57:51 PM EDT
I think they're great! They have worked wonders down in Milwaukee----where the public schools are just about as bad as those in Washington.

I think everyone----every family----should be able to get them------and then let them decide where to have their kids educated.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 5:01:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2006 5:11:58 PM EDT by nightstalker]
Remember, this was the Florida Supreme Court...

"violates the state constitution's requirement for a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality system of free public schools.”

Uniform seems to be the only disqualifier of private schools. Doubt you could prove "voucher" schools are not efficient, safe or secure.

Vouchers usually are not equal the the entire tab per student, in fact it's usually less than 50% of what is spent in public schools. While complainers may say parents are spending other taxpayers money, it can just as easily be said that schools are mis-spending the money and failing the average student in favor of making everything "uniform", including the results. WTF's a parent to do if they're just gettin by and their kid's are going to a "bad" school (and that is ONE of the main reasons kids are failing).

Public education used to work when parents were fully behind them. Now they baby-sit way too often. CA has a mandatory exit exam coming this year. Should be interesting. Probably lots of cheating by schools and individual teachers to insure they remain the source of the "uniform" education and it's state of excellence. It's already been documented in "Freakonomics".

There was a good program(PBS, I think, www.pbs.org/makingschoolswork/dwr/ca/) on how they were trying to fix public schools in San Diego and how the union fought them tooth and nail. ....and finally won. These were people that had succeeded in New York and Chicago but couldn't get these teachers to give up enough control to implement their changes.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 5:04:43 PM EDT

Not just no, but hell no!!



Link Posted: 1/7/2006 5:06:30 PM EDT
Well, since the consitution never afforded anyone a federal government sponsored education, I think vouchers are the least they could do to allow choice in the matter of schooling ones children.

It should be up to the states, and the federal government should stick to protecting the nation.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 5:33:01 PM EDT
Yes.
Families should be allowed to send their children to the school of their choice.

Money that would be spent in those schools is forcibly taken from them (here, it's property taxes) and dispersed to government schools. In order to allow those families to make this choice, they should receive vouchers to reflect their contributions and offset their children's absence in government schools.

The government has no business in education.
Anything that loosens the gubment's grip on my children is fine by me.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:33:41 PM EDT
yes, anything that lets tax payers spend their tax money the way they want to I support
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:40:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
yes, anything that lets tax payers spend their tax money the way they want to I support



+1

Also, anything that gets kids out of public schools, which have become total crap over the years.

My grandfather left public school speaking french, latin, and with a good understanding of math. Basic Calc I think. His father was a coal miner.

My father left public school speaking one language, and a good understanding of math.

If I had stayed in public school, I'd be lucky to have known advanced Algebra when I would've graduated. I couldn't speak a foreign language to save my life.

The kids I get today in my Freshman college History course, well, I'm lucky if they can speak basic english properly, and write a coherent sentence. Math? HA!


The NEA should stop wasting time on vouchers, and start spending it on, you know, getting better teachers and such. They won't though. Typical union.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:42:39 PM EDT
Follow my theory on this:

1. As a society we want everyone educated.
2. Few of us can afford to pay the $8,000 to 10,000 per year it costs per student for grades K-12.
3. So we let the gummint act as financial intermediary for our own money by paying property taxes (or the landlord for renters) over our lifetimes.
4. Since it is my money that went to paying property taxes all these years, I want the choice of where to send my children to school.
5. Enforced minimum standards are good.

Open query:
We let any 18 year old women make the life or death decision on abortion, yet once she decides to have that child, she cannot decide where to send it for an education?

Competition is good. Overall education quality will increase. Those that need it most, inner city families without the financial means can choose schools that attract students that want the education and reject gang influences.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:44:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OZ309:
If you want your kid to go to a private school that's fine but why should I be required to pay for it?



The money came from property taxes and you are also paying for the public education so why can't consumers of education choose where they spend their own money?
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:45:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OZ309:
If you want your kid to go to a private school that's fine but why should I be required to pay for it?



See, that's the thing. The only way you are not paying for someone else to go to school, public or private, is if you have kids of your own. In a situation like that, you are paying for your own children to go to school.

Your taxes go to schools whether you have kids or not.

Vouchers simply allow a parent to "spend" their money on the school of their choice.

My only concern with vouchers is that they could be a vehicle for the Government (State or Federal, it doesn't matter in the end) to dictate what and how private schools teach to their students. IOW, for a private school to accept the voucher money, the have to take the attached strings.

That the NEA oposes it is even more reason to allow it. The NEA has had an effective monopoly on education for far too long.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:47:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Orwell84:
Vouchers are stealing, end of story. Putting guns in my face and threatening my life, while stealing MY money in order to give it someone else is wrong. If you support communist control over education than you are no better than some swine who steals some old crippled grandmothers purse on the streets. If you support communism than you are no better than some punk who breaks into peoples houses to rob them, but when they resist the punk guns them down in cold blood.




Wrong.

YOUR money is already 'stolen' when taxes are taken out of your paycheck. The current educational system is as close to communist control as can be achieved without actually being under communist rule.
Vouchers transfer control from the NEA/teachers union to the parents, where it belongs. Vouchers hold parents/teachers accountable for results. If the current system were not broken, parents would use their vouchers to send their kids to the schools they attend now.

You really should learn a little more about how our government works
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:47:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2006 6:50:39 PM EDT by drrocket]
.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:49:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Not just no, but hell no!!





Wow, for someone that wants individual freedom for owning guns (like the rest of us here), you don't support consumer choice on one of the most important spending decisions a family can make?

Remember everyone pays into the system through taxes, why can't the family make choices about how to spend their own money?
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:49:59 PM EDT

...it violates the state constitution's requirement for a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality system of free public schools.”



And they have this now?


Rejecting school vouchers on this basis means they should scrap the current public school system as well. It fails the "free" test as every taxpayer in the state pays for it whether they send their children to school or not.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:54:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
I'm for people paying for their own education. If people had vouchers then public schools would have to compete for the students and the voucher money. Just like I'm against government health care - competition is good for every one save the NEA.



Atomic +1. Give me the choice.


Some of the best high schools in the country are in the richest neighborhoods.

What makes them the best? Competition. If the public system sucks, they know full well that those kids are going private, no questions asked.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 7:08:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Orwell84:
Vouchers are stealing, end of story. Putting guns in my face and threatening my life, while stealing MY money in order to give it someone else is wrong.




?????????

Your money is ALREADY taken from you when you pay property taxes.

Vouchers are basically a "partial" refund if you put your kids in private schools in those cases where public schools have failed to meet minimum criteria.

Otherwise parents who pull their kids out of shit grade public schools pay for their kids educations TWICE.

I worked for the school board for a couple years and saw firsthand the monsterous waste of resources. I would NEVER put my kid in a local public school because they are all gangster universities.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 7:10:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OZ309:
If you want your kid to go to a private school that's fine but why should I be required to pay for it?



You don't. The parents of that private schooled child are simpy refunded the money they paid in as property taxes for the cost of public school.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 7:21:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By danpass:

Originally Posted By Paul:
I'm for people paying for their own education. If people had vouchers then public schools would have to compete for the students and the voucher money. Just like I'm against government health care - competition is good for every one save the NEA.



Atomic +1. Give me the choice.


Some of the best high schools in the country are in the richest neighborhoods.

What makes them the best? Competition. If the public system sucks, they know full well that those kids are going private, no questions asked.



Miraculously you have choice in college so I don't know how depriving parents of choice is such a good idea in K-12. Now the same thieves want to take your money and demand you send your kid to pre-school (in CA.) More chutzpah from Meathead.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 7:27:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By drrocket:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Not just no, but hell no!!





Wow, for someone that wants individual freedom for owning guns (like the rest of us here), you don't support consumer choice on one of the most important spending decisions a family can make?

Remember everyone pays into the system through taxes, why can't the family make choices about how to spend their own money?



Just note his screen name. Enough said.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 7:32:52 PM EDT
Ummm, let's see I will have to think about it...


still thinking...



a little more...



NO.

Why?

If you want to get your kid out of the public school system-you WILL have to pay for it yourself. I'm not going to support Joe Schmoe's kid if I ever have kids and private-school them.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 7:35:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By deej86:
Ummm, let's see I will have to think about it...


still thinking...



a little more...



NO.

Why?

If you want to get your kid out of the public school system-you WILL have to pay for it yourself. I'm not going to support Joe Schmoe's kid if I ever have kids and private-school them.



You do realize you are supporting Joe Schmo's kid in the public school right now, don't you?

Just checking.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 7:41:31 PM EDT
Yes, I like the idea of vouchers.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 7:41:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:

Originally Posted By deej86:
Ummm, let's see I will have to think about it...


still thinking...



a little more...



NO.

Why?

If you want to get your kid out of the public school system-you WILL have to pay for it yourself. I'm not going to support Joe Schmoe's kid if I ever have kids and private-school them.



You do realize you are supporting Joe Schmo's kid in the public school right now, don't you?

Just checking.


Yeah...I agree...taxes pay for your kid's teacher's salary...but there's no winners here.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 7:47:42 PM EDT
I wouldn't have a problem with it as long as it was done properly.

Take the EXACT amount that Mr. and Mrs. Doe spent in state taxes last year, calculate the EXACT amount of said taxes that went to the public school system and cut them a one time check for that amount. I guarantee it's nowhere near enough for them to send little Johnny and Jane to a private school.

I've got two kids in private school right now, to the tune of about $1500 a month. That's $16,500 a year (for some reason we don't have to pay tuition in Feb). How many of these folks pay that much a year for public school?
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:34:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 8:45:39 PM EDT by MRW]
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 7:27:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 7:28:45 PM EDT by SteyrAUG]

Originally Posted By deej86:
Ummm, let's see I will have to think about it...


still thinking...



a little more...



NO.

Why?

If you want to get your kid out of the public school system-you WILL have to pay for it yourself. I'm not going to support Joe Schmoe's kid if I ever have kids and private-school them.




You ALREADY paid for it.

If he gets a voucher, he doesn't get extra money from you. That money simply NO LONGER goes to public school.

This is what a LOT OF PEOPLE don't understand.

Vouchers DO NOT take more money from tax payers, they take the money from that which has already been given to PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

You have been sold a lie.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 7:42:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:

Originally Posted By OZ309:
If you want your kid to go to a private school that's fine but why should I be required to pay for it?



You don't. The parents of that private schooled child are simpy refunded the money they paid in as property taxes for the cost of public school.



The problem I have with that argument is that we as a society all have an interest in supporting and sustaining the public school system,going back to the early years of this country. An educated populace is a good populace, and everyone should support that goal being met,whether you have kids or not. As far as private school kids, their parents and their elationship to public schools, my private school kids can take advantages of programs and activities that go on at the public schools. Private school parents should not feel that just because their kids are going to private schools that they do not directly receive any sort of benefit from the public schools or the school taxes being paid to the public school system. That includes the bussing system,since its the public systems schoolbuses that pick up the kids and transports them to the public school.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 5:57:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tc556guy:

Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:

Originally Posted By OZ309:
If you want your kid to go to a private school that's fine but why should I be required to pay for it?



You don't. The parents of that private schooled child are simpy refunded the money they paid in as property taxes for the cost of public school.



The problem I have with that argument is that we as a society all have an interest in supporting and sustaining the public school system,going back to the early years of this country.



You are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.

And that is why vouchers are ONLY provided in areas where that particular public school has FAILED to meet minimum standards.

In this instance, parents who can afford to pay the difference, are refunded their contribution to the public system.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 6:04:39 AM EDT
I strongly support vouchers. Bringing competition into the public school system is the only way to save tax payers money and create a fair [as fair as possible] education system.

In Oregon we have something similar to vouchers. We have the ability to create charter schools. Its rather a nightmare to set up but once in place. My kids own previously public school has become a charter school. Its rather nice to see that the pledge allegence is now said and there were Christmas trees decorated in the class room. My son's teacher did send a note asking if anyone would be offended by it though.

Our school also has much more money now its not incumbered by the state regulations, though we are still graded and have a high or higher grade then before.

Patty
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 6:07:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OZ309:
If you want your kid to go to a private school that's fine but why should I be required to pay for it?




Uh, I believe my tax dollars pay for your childrens attendance at a failing gubmint socialist public school .

Give me MY tax dollars back so I can spend that money on the school of my choice.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 6:17:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OZ309:
If you want your kid to go to a private school that's fine but why should I be required to pay for it?



Someone obviously does not understand. You are already paying to educate the child. There is alot more moeny going to the school for each kid than the voucher is worth.

Say the school budget is about $5000 for each kid there. If they give a voucher for about $2500 but don't have to educate the kid, they are ahead.

Why should people not be able to have a small say in how their proterty tax money is spent?

TXL
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 6:18:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Not just no, but hell no!!







and just why the hell not?

Link Posted: 1/9/2006 6:25:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:

Originally Posted By deej86:
Ummm, let's see I will have to think about it...


still thinking...



a little more...



NO.

Why?

If you want to get your kid out of the public school system-you WILL have to pay for it yourself. I'm not going to support Joe Schmoe's kid if I ever have kids and private-school them.




You ALREADY paid for it.

If he gets a voucher, he doesn't get extra money from you. That money simply NO LONGER goes to public school.

This is what a LOT OF PEOPLE don't understand.

Vouchers DO NOT take more money from tax payers, they take the money from that which has already been given to PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

You have been sold a lie.



Well said, very well said
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:18:47 AM EDT
Everybody should get vouchers. Then the school systems will work hard to please their customers - the parents...
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:35:15 AM EDT
I would prefer a system in which everyone paid for their own kids to go to school, rather than the current crappy "school/property tax" system that charges couples with no kids,old people,single people,etc. That makes less sense than a per user basis. Society may benefit as a whole from public education,but parents benefit far more by having more successfull children. They should bear the costs of this investment in their own future.
Absent the per user fee, I'd like vouchers as a way of getting my property tax money back, so I don't have to pay to educate other people's kids to become liberal voters that oppose me in the polls in the near future.

Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:41:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tc556guy:


The problem I have with that argument is that we as a society all have an interest in supporting and sustaining the public school system,going back to the early years of this country. An educated populace is a good populace, and everyone should support that goal being met,whether you have kids or not. As far as private school kids, their parents and their elationship to public schools, my private school kids can take advantages of programs and activities that go on at the public schools. Private school parents should not feel that just because their kids are going to private schools that they do not directly receive any sort of benefit from the public schools or the school taxes being paid to the public school system. That includes the bussing system,since its the public systems schoolbuses that pick up the kids and transports them to the public school.


You're in NY. This is NOT the case in many other states. That makes a huge difference with your well financed town based school systems,since your high school tax rates mean NY has the money to spend on private school kids. I was privately schooled in MD. I could not use public school buses, nor could I use any public school facilities,sports or otherwise. This is the case in many states. My parents were ROBBED of their property tax money simply because they chose not to allow me an education by the state.
My wife was a NY teacher in a private school upstate,and was very surprised when I told her that other states did not extend public school benefits to private school children.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:48:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OZ309:
If you want your kid to go to a private school that's fine but why should I be required to pay for it?


Why should I pay taxes that help educate your children in public school if my kids go to a private school?

You see, it's not a matter of YOU paying for MY kids...it's a matter of ME paying the .gov to educate YOUR kids...and then somehow find enough money to pay to educate my kids.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:51:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE:
Yes.
Families should be allowed to send their children to the school of their choice.

Money that would be spent in those schools is forcibly taken from them (here, it's property taxes) and dispersed to government schools. In order to allow those families to make this choice, they should receive vouchers to reflect their contributions and offset their children's absence in government schools.

The government has no business in education.
Anything that loosens the gubment's grip on my children is fine by me.


A resounding PLUS ONE.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:56:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By deej86:
Ummm, let's see I will have to think about it...

still thinking...

a little more...

NO.

Why?

If you want to get your kid out of the public school system-you WILL have to pay for it yourself. I'm not going to support Joe Schmoe's kid if I ever have kids and private-school them.


Another communist convert.
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