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Want to help bring true school choice to every kid in the land?
Press release ^ | 2/22/2013 | John Conlin

Posted on 02/22/2013 11:51:29 AM PST by John Conlin

Hey freepers I need your help... especially you with a legal/legislative background.

We are tying to get federal legislation written which will force any state that accepts federal education dollars to change the way they fund public schools. We want to force them to fund parents and children, not the education establishment.

In effect we want to create a marketplace for K-12 education. This will transform the public education system.

To this end we are attempting to crowd-source the writing of this leg. Go to the URL for more info on how to participate. My contact info is there... please feel free to send me an email or call if you want to discuss further.

I know there are MANY great minds in the Free Republic, we could sure use a hand.

Please pass on the info to anyone who might be interested.



TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions

1 posted on 02/22/2013 11:51:35 AM PST by John Conlin
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To: John Conlin

Sorry but Hell NO
I understand your thinking but the very last thing I would be for is to give people more government money.
Yes there would be some responsible parents, maybe 10
the rest of the people would abuse the money
and figure out a way to fraud the system

2 posted on 02/22/2013 12:10:26 PM PST by RWGinger
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To: RWGinger

We are spending the money right now anyway. Do you think individuals can do a better job or government bureaucrats?

So rather than fighting for change, you’d rather continue to fund the educational establishment?!! That’s change we can believe in ;-)

3 posted on 02/22/2013 12:18:30 PM PST by John Conlin
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To: John Conlin

An absolutely horrific idea. Hope it’s DOA. First of all, it’s not guaranteed that the parents (and plenty of them are real doozies—I’ve met them at parent-teacher conferences and some of them act worse than their kids!) would use any monies for the intended purpose. Secondly, what if they deem that their kid should attend Witchdoctor School or some such? Should they be allowed to spend taxpayer money on that, even if it will ultimately be of little or no use to our society? Third, there has to be some sort of standardization in education so that potential colleges and employers can count on certain ground having been covered if a student transcript lists “biology”, “American history”, “Algebra I” or whatever. You may not get that if you directly fund parents. And as I said, you may not get anything at all.

4 posted on 02/22/2013 12:21:09 PM PST by EinNYC
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To: EinNYC

The 21st Amendment did 2 things... repealed prohibition AND said that the regulation of alcohol was a state matter.

Each state then set up its own regulatory structure. And it has worked quite well for 80 years. Do you really think the people in every state are too stupid to set up an effective regulator structure for education?

Is this really the extent of your analysis? So you support the present failing public education system?

Most 4th and 8th graders are not proficient in reading OR math.

ACT reports that 75% of incoming college freshmen are NOT prepared for college. 40% must take some type of remedial classes.

SAT reports 12th grade reading scores are at a 40 year low.

The entire dynamic will be changed by turning parents/children from passive consumers of some government provided service (think driver’s license) into consumers who are treated as customers.

Perhaps those doozies you speak about are simply people who have already been failed in THEIR educations... and probably their parents too.

Or we can construct straw men Witchdoctor Schools to ensure the slaves never leave the plantation. And you are a freeper?

5 posted on 02/22/2013 12:36:30 PM PST by John Conlin
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To: John Conlin

I live in a small town in mid-coast Maine.

3,000 people, 45 square miles

Our K to 8 school has 250 kids.

To send any of our kids to another school of their choice involves doubling or tripling the number of buses, drivers, and routes.

How does your plan solve this ?

6 posted on 02/22/2013 12:47:34 PM PST by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: John Conlin

Interesting that you’d think there are only 2 options.
I say again I would NOT support giving any money directly to people.
If you really think most parents will make wise decisions then you need to do some research into what happens with all the money we give millions of people now.

I said I understand your motivation. YOu assumed that since i don’t support giving money to people i am for the current system. shows a lack of awareness on your part

7 posted on 02/22/2013 12:49:04 PM PST by RWGinger
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To: EinNYC

Wow, Hillary Clinton said the same thing years ago! She said parents (poor parents, specifically) aren’t capable enough to choose what type of school they want for their kids and asked what if parents choose a school that teaches witchcraft?

Looks like you agree with her.

8 posted on 02/22/2013 12:50:28 PM PST by goldi
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To: John Conlin

Here’s a better idea.

Get the national government the f**k out of our school.

Let my town hire our own teachers and let the townspeople decide what we teach in our school.

9 posted on 02/22/2013 12:51:11 PM PST by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: RWGinger

I said nothing about giving money directly to parents. The individual states can determine the method(s) they use to make this change... the dollars follow the kid in some state-regulated environment.

And I think there are MANY options, that’s what competition unleashes. I don’t have to know all the solutions, I know the system that will most quickly and assuredly find these solutions.

And my awareness is rather straightforward... you are either for freeing the educational slaves or for keeping them enslaved. Not too complicated at all. I’m for freeing them. You?

10 posted on 02/22/2013 12:58:07 PM PST by John Conlin
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To: maine yankee

How many movie theaters do you have in town? How many grocery stores? What is the breadth of retail establishments?

You make a choice to live in a sparsely populated area (I agree with the choice). There are pluses and minuses with each choice.

One would guess that in almost every area you will have fewer choices than someone living in a major city. I’m supposed to solve this reality?

If competitive school choice doesn’t work in your world, then guess what? It won’t happen since it will fail.

But I think you give the genius of people short-shrift. Under the present design you might have to increase the number of this or that... I have an idea, let’s change the design. I don’t know all of the possible solutions and neither do you. So why use this as an argument that “it can’t work here”.

In the history of humankind, do you know how many times that has been proven wrong?

11 posted on 02/22/2013 1:07:19 PM PST by John Conlin
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To: maine yankee

Let’s start a path that will get us there. And that path starts with freedom and competition. Or we can do nothing and just amuse ourselves with this or that website.

12 posted on 02/22/2013 1:13:41 PM PST by John Conlin
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To: John Conlin

The gentleman is talking about ‘forcing’ scool choice.

(His words not mine)

All I’m saying is when you come up with a workable plan based in reality, then we can talk.

Until then, I still think the best solution is for the end of national involvement in education.

13 posted on 02/22/2013 1:25:45 PM PST by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: maine yankee

Conceptually I agree... but by what magical power do you expect to implement your desires?

14 posted on 02/22/2013 1:32:17 PM PST by John Conlin
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To: John Conlin
You are not taking into account the backgrounds and learning environments at home for students.

Here is part of a blog written by a friend of mine who is also an educator. I can tell you from personal experience that he has nailed it precisely. His grasp of the sociodynamics of why a lot of kids are failing is equivalent to putting 5 consecutive bullets within an inch of each other on the firing range.

A student, just call him "Johnny", comes from an impoverished family. Dad took off long ago, which left "Johnny" and his three siblings being raised by a mother who relies on government support to feed and clothe her family, even though she's working full time. Her job is one of low wages and she struggles financially to keep her family together. By the time she puts in long hours and, if she can get them, extra shifts, she has little time or money to take her children on excursions to expand their horizons. Their house has no books. There are no adults around at night to tickle their imaginations with bedtime stories. Instead "Johnny" and his siblings must be self-entertaining, watching television or hanging out with friends, unsupervised by any adult.

"Johnny" is having both academic and behavioral problems at school. He reads at a grade level three grades below his peers and has an Individualized Education Program for inappropriate behaviors, receiving remedial services at school for them. Even though the school provides "Johnny" free breakfast and lunch, he does not take advantage of these programs. That's because "Johnny" can't wake up early enough to get to school on time, having stayed up til 3:00 am playing video games. His mother comes home from the overnight shift just in time to roust "Johnny" out of bed when she arrives home at 9:00 am. As a result, "Johnny" is habitually late and hungry as he finally gets to school and has already missed his first three classes of the day. He has poor work habits in class, does not do his homework, gets lousy grades on tests he never studied for, and never turns in projects. If that wasn't enough, he is very disruptive in class and bothers the students sitting near him.

Then there are the students who may not come from impoverished homes, but they have no reason, as far as they are concerned, to truly apply themselves at their studies. This is because they know that they don't HAVE to work very hard. Even if they have failing averages, the political pressure put on his teachers to have certain percentages of passing students guarantees that his lousy grades will still be morphed into passing grades. This kind of student laughs at his teacher because he knows all about the barrel the administration holds his teacher over. He has contempt for the entire educational system because he knows he will not be called to account for his lack of work or studying. His teachers need to pass him too much.

You want to know why a whole lot of students are not proficient in reading or math or not prepared for college? I just told you.

15 posted on 02/22/2013 1:35:52 PM PST by EinNYC
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To: John Conlin

So you didn’t say anything about giving money directly to parents?

you said
“We want to force them to fund parents and children.”

Now you can pretend you did not mean fund as the definition
of a supply of or fund of money”
and that lets you off the hook quite nicely

I think you can see by the replies you’ ve gotten that people do not in general think this particluar idea is a good idea.
I am ALL for getting the feds out of education and to a large extent even states giving more control to local entities.

16 posted on 02/22/2013 2:17:04 PM PST by RWGinger
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To: John Conlin
Dear John Conlin,

I'm not sure everyone is clear, but I think all you're suggesting is mass voucherization of education. Currently, the government takes in a bunch of money and spends it providing public education to children. Folks who don't want the public education obtain private education for their children on their own dime.

You're suggesting that instead of government attempting to run schools on a near-monopoly basis, the government could just pick up the tab for whatever education alternative a family chose for their children. The government could still attempt to run public schools, but competitively, without the enormous price advantage that government schools work out to have over private schools and other alternatives. Where population density is low, it might be that the government-run school could be the only school available.

But if a family decided to send their children to a private school, the per capita money spent on the children would follow the children and pay for tuition, in part or whole, at the private school. If a family chose an on-line school (there aren't many of these, but they're starting to pop up and get certified in states), the government money would go to the on-line school. If a family wished to homeschool, the government would pay for the curriculum the family chose.

I think that's where you're going. Yes?

There would be lots of details to work out. Like - what about families who homeschool and make their own curriculum? Some of the very best homeschoolers I've seen have done this. But would the government reimburse the costs incurred directly by the family for making their own curriculum?

Some folks might object to their tax money going to a private school with which they had deep philosophical differences.

My own problem is that he who pays the piper calls the tune, and I think it could readily become the camel's nose under the tent to exert greater control over private schools and homeschools.

My own preference would be for a large tax credit for having school-aged children. Probably not refundable, but something on the order of $5K per kid per year, and have it apply against payroll taxes, not just income taxes.

The tax credit could be traded in for a public school education, or kept by the family, and the family would figure out how to educate their kids. The nice thing about this approach is that families who decided to homeschool would more readily be able to afford having one parent home, as the savings on taxes would partially make up for a second income in the household.

Your basic ideas are worthy of discussion, but in the current form are not yet actual, implementable policies.


17 posted on 02/22/2013 3:15:00 PM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: John Conlin; All
"We are tying to get federal legislation written which will force any state that accepts federal education dollars to change the way they fund public schools."

With all due respect Mr. Conlin, please consider the following.

First, while I agree that your statement above is the practical, "immediate" solution for your concern about public schools, please consider the following.

Not only did the Founding States not delegate to Congress via the Constitution the specific power to regulate public schools, public schools a 10th Amendment protected state power issue, but please consider Justice John Marshall's official clarification of Congress's limited power to lay taxes as it relates to state power issues like public schools.

"Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States." --Justice John Marshall, Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824.

In other words, Justice Marshall had clarified in general that not only does Congress not have the constitutional authority to regulate public schools, but Congress cannot lay taxes in the name of funding public schools either. So Congress arguably needs to refund constitutionally indefensible tax dollars that it layed on taxpayers in the name of funding public schools.

18 posted on 02/22/2013 3:10:45 PM PST by Amendment10
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