Skip to comments.Vouchers go down in flames [Utah votes no]
Posted on 11/07/2007 2:39:08 AM PST by The Raven
Voters decisively rejected the will of the Utah Legislature and governor Tuesday, rejecting what would have been the nation's most comprehensive education voucher program in a referendum blowout.
Voucher supporter Overstock.com chief executive Patrick Byrne - who bankrolled the voucher effort - called the referendum a "statewide IQ test" that Utahns failed.
"They don't care enough about their kids. They care an awful lot about this system, this bureaucracy, but they don't care enough about their kids to think outside the box," Byrne said.
(Excerpt) Read more at origin.sltrib.com ...
Nah. The folks in Utah have much more of a commitment to public schools than is commonly understood.
This is just proof of that.
I had access to good public schools, long ago, and also attended a private school for awhile, and attended both good public and private colleges. Grew up in a great family as well.
With those blessings to guide me, I think all is not lost. Not forever, anyway.
Let somebody analyze what caused Utah voters to vote this down. I don’t think every plan in every state in America and how every plan is presented to the public have to follow the exact path the Utah defeat followed.
Within defeat are often seeds of future victory.
Even in the few places where public schools still work after a fashion, you have to ask at what cost. More often than not it’s twice or more what you’d pay for private schools and the extra money should be being put away for college educations.
PS - Here's Stossell's article on this
Too bad they don’t have a similar commitment to their children’s education. After all, this isn’t about public schools, it is about the quality of education their children receive.
Skools are the best jobs in lost of podunk towns. I don’t know if you have noticed but teachers, cops, firemen form a iron triangle and always support and vote for each others pay raise, palaces, and other interests.
Asking people to think for themselves, is in at least half the cases, impossible. So, the very idea of taking control of ones mental development is unfathomable. They grew up in the public skool box, and can not think outside of it.
Money and habit, vs. risk.
ding ding ding ding.
Has to be the most intelligent response of the day.
I am very sympathetic to the concept of vouchers but fear too many strings will be attached by government if it were to become widespread. We send our child to a private Christian school and it stinks paying for publik skools and a private education. Nevertheless, I don’t trust government to keep their marxist hands off of quality private schools if vouchers were available. The stakes are too high for a little bit of money back in my pocket.
Ouch!!!! But true!
>>Nevertheless, I dont trust government to keep their marxist hands off of quality private schools if vouchers were available
Good point !!!
The reason vouchers keep failing is that they’ve got such a small constituency. The people who receive the primary benefit from them are people who either have their kids in private schools, or who would put them in private schools, if they rec’d a voucher. Unfortunately, that is less than 51% of the voters, and will continue to be.
Looking at the bad side, though, the lack of a voucher program reduces the support for public education, generally. People without school age kids are likely to vote against education funding. Now people who have their kids in private schools will do so as well. And that is a growing percent of the voters.
Well Byrne didn't help matters with his comments that you "might as well throw away" black students who flunk out. The NAACP made a big stink which overshadowed the referendum.
30 years ago when this issue was being discussed, the Pastor at my childrens church school told every parent, that in the event that government aid to parents of private school children became available, that anyone accepting it would be asked to remove their children from the school. In my opinion he was correct in his thinking.
The school that my grandchildren attend said that they would not accept vouchers. Too many strings attached.
That is the truth. This doesn’t surprise me at all. I would have been shocked otherwise. Utah is a state where people still feel the schools are theirs.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
I assisted a family member who is a teacher (Jr. High) with grading a relatively simple assignment. I told her that I would have failed 3/4 of her class - she agreed but said the School District doesn't allow her to do so. Most of the work was less than pathetic - my dad would've taken me to the woodshed if I had come home with one of those assignments. But, at least, her students will FEEL good about themselves.
The students I felt bad for were the two or three who turned in the A grade work in a sea of F worthy crap (which ended up with a C). We're failing our kids but the general populace isn't involved or informed enough to care - everyone is too focused on fun and "me me me".
One last thing to note as well is that Utah is quite deceptive. While the states seems dominated by Republicans, many (if not most) of our elected officials are weak social Republicans and fiscal Democrats.
Utahns are incredibly trusting of government. The result is that state and local government, for the most part, taxes and spends (often on feel good stuff) and government programs and institutions are frequently seen as sacred, untouchable stuff (such as public ed). While there is a minor tax rebellion going on in Davis and Weber counties, it remains to be seen if it can reach a tipping point where people come to their senses and exact greater responsibility from government for the use of our money...
I agree with that as well, it would've been the greatest danger of vouchers and one that would have had to have been vigilantly watched over. I guarantee, if vouchers had passed that education establishment legislators would've crafted legislation to get their paws into private schools and further undermine parental freedom in their child's education.
The upside, is that it appears (from their statements) that they will not be union members next year. Hopefully, this will serve as an eyeopener to other teachers as well on how the union operates.
In earlier days I think the mindset in Utah was that public schools were the Mormon’s private schools.
This is just proof of that.
And also proof of how incredibly stupid the average voter has become!
IMO, Utah is far from the best state for this type of system - it's not as conservative as many think.
See post#19 (especially, the part of Utah being deceptive for conservatives).
Let me rephrase:
Utah is far from the best state to attempt passing a voucher system...
Utah seems conservative in the sense that they are reluctant to change the status quo, thus they rejected a major change such as vouchers.
People need to remember that all red states are not the same, just as all blue states aren't the same. Maybe in a less traditional but Republican state, vouchers would have a better chance.
No, it’s not permanent. It is slowly collapsing all over the country. Another 15-20% of kids will eventually leave, and the system will go into financial cardiac arrest. The collapse needs to be accelerated, however, because the public school system destroys more lives and more of our culture every additional day it is in existence. Voucher politics is not the answer - taking children out is. Deprive the schools of enough revenue units and its over. Even if I were wrong about this, and I’m not, parents who take their children out of the government school system are least rescuing their children from a dark and decaying system that takes otherwise normal children and turns them into functional illiterates with dead souls.
That was the impression I got when I lived there. Let's face it, vouchers are seen as helping students who go to religious schools, and those religions aren't the majority one in Utah.
Actually, taking you kid out wouldn’t hurt them (at least in Utah). Here, property and income taxes go to schools regardless if you child is in the school or not. Taking kids out would only give them more money (still get the tax $, but no kid to educate).
That would be odd, because every state I’m aware of has an ADA formula that also applies to federal money. Fewer children in a given school means fewer federal and other dollars. I don’t believe that Utah has a system that would give the same amount of money to a school that has 100 students as it would to a school with 10,000 students. My taxes certainly go to the school system whether I have a child there or not, but whether my child is there affects funding formulas.
When vouchers are proposed in amounts that are a tiny fraction of public schools’ and private schools’ per student expenditures, it’s little wonder most people fote against them. Their taxes will go up and they still won’t be able to afford to put their children in private schools. I want to see vouchers in exactly the same amount as public school per student expenditure. THAT would shut down a lot of public schools and force dramatic change at nearly all the rest, and cause a wide array of private schools to pop up. There should also be a mechanism to make the funds available to homeschoolers (including those who are schooling OTHER people’s children in their own homes).
Another thing to remember is if people pulled their kids from the union schools, funding may be hit, but, more importantly, the union would loose an awful lot of power and members ($$$).
Presumably there is also much less dissatisfaction with the public schools in Utah, since there is one overwhelmingly dominant religion, and the schools no doubt reflect its values to a large degree. Outside of SLC and immediate surroundings, a public school would be hard pressed to find any teachers to hire who aren’t at least somewhat active Mormons.
I think this might have been used as a stepping stone for such. I also didn’t like the part of the bill that gave the rich only $500 for taking their kid from the public school while the middle class and poor got $3000. What makes my kid worth $3000, but a rich person’s child worth only $500?! Especially, I’m willing to bet that the rich guy pays way more (monetarily and proportionally) into the system than the poor/middle class.
Over the last few years, there seems to have been an upsurge in school teacher sex/abuse scandals (last week, I think another two teacher-student sex charges came out). That doesn't reflect the values of society but it keeps happening. Again, most people here are pretty clueless to this stuff, however, and I don't know what it will take for them to wake up.
I had heard stories about how nonconformist it was outside of the greater metropolitan area, but I thought most of that was rogue polygamists and such. I guess with Batter's experience, there are a lot of "just leave me alone to do my own thing" types in rural Utah, but I really don't think they had much influence over the election.
Rural Utah is virtually 100% Mormon (mostly the normal kind, and the others have their own private schools). Of course, not everybody is is active or even believing, but outward shows of reasonably conforming to local culture would be virtually essential to getting a job as a teacher or school administrator (and pretty much any job).
It’s not like there’s a population of card-carrying ACLU members available to hire from, and even if there were a few here and there, they’d be unlikely to get hired, and even more unlikely to be able to influence the goings-on at school in a way that was in conflict with the Mormon-dominated local culture. It would be like a staunch conservative getting hired by the NYC public school system. Every now and then one probably slips through, but none is ever able to make a dent in the status quo.
Vermont on top, Arizona at the bottom. Obviously, the “smartest state” rankings aren’t adjusted to reflect the impact of illegal immigration.
I’m afraid you’re right.
The NEA poured enormous loads of money into Utah to defeat
vouchers, the gullible swallowed the hype, and it appears if we’ll be stuck with the NEA screwing up public ed for the foreseeable future. Very sad.
Must be the case, public schools in Utah with Mormon dominated students, parents and teachers don’t seem to suffer from the same ills that public schools in ther parts of the nation suffer from that would make parents want to seek better schools.
Maybe they were just opposed to another government entitlement program?
Rural areas have a higher LDS proportion but I’m not sure it would be 100% (especially if you look at active LDS - which I don’t believe would affect moral perception on student-teacher sex). The last two teachers busted for sex crimes (last week or two) were in rural schools but I haven’t seen much on how the communities are reacting.
Ca. has voted against this common sense bill. Most other states will too. The NEA and the state ed. labor unions are the most powerful lobbyists around. I want vouchers. The public has been brainwashed that vouchers will bring on nutty Christian schools, lousy home schools, nutty Islamo schools. That this would not happen in droves does not matter. The ‘educators’ have brainwashed the public and vouchers are dead. No state will pass it. Mark my words. BTW, I have been teaching for 46 years and want vouchers.
The extra 430mil, IIRC, was a union figure. I'm not sure what the real figure was. Further, the 'do no harm' fund for vouchers was only created for 5 years (with 'surplus' tax money), thereafter, the $3000 would be taken from the school budget with the remaining $4000 retained by the school (with one less student).
In terms of taxes, vouchers, of themselves, should not have increased taxes as in 5 yrs the money would be pulled directly from ed budgets (as noted above). Where the increase come in is that we will have about 150k more students. If some of those went to private schools, it would have saved taxpayers money as there would be fewer public buildings to build and teachers to hire etc (private schools would increase teacher hiring). Unless you actually believe that the public ed monopoly wouldn't just ask (demand) for more $$$ and look for greater efficiency and innovation.
Oh yeah, if it were up to me, the remaining funds would not have been given back to the schools, it should be used as a tax savings and returned to taxpayers but, politically, there is no way that would happen right now (hey, vouchers didn’t come close to making it as it was).
I agree that the voucher solution is very unlikely to happen in any relevant timeframe. So, either we kill the system by depriving it of another 15-20% of students or we will see what is left of American culture destroying by the government school system, which, unlike Christian schools and homeschooling, actually is “nutty”, vicious, dangerous, and generally a swirling cauldron of intellectual, social,spiritual, and moral pathologies.