I applaud Maryland lawmakers who have agreed to create a $5-million grant program for state-funded private-school scholarships. Maryland now has two choice programs for its students, the other being charter schools. This decision will have a lasting positive impact on many children who might not otherwise have the opportunity for a good education.

The door has been open to public school decline for decades now. There is no busting down of the door going on. It is a slow and creaking decline that is due to a system buffered from change. Every child matters in Maryland and deserves a good education, no matter what underperforming pocket of a school district that child is from. That $5 million will make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of children who would otherwise be funneled to a failing neighborhood school. How can you make an argument against that? By making it about money and not the child that this program will surely help.

America was built on choice and freedom as a basic right. Education in the U.S. is the last sector that has not embraced the idea that competition does lead to quality.

America has a system of schools that hasn’t kept pace with the rest of our society. As charter schools continue to improve and this grant program gets underway, I will wait to hear the success stories from those young boys and girls who are benefiting from our public education money.

Anne Sechler

Frederick

(30) comments

DickD

Not having any kids in school, I want my tax money back, so I can take a vacation.

threecents

Society (everyone) benefits from public education.

ClareS

Perhaps public schools should be eliminated and taxes given back to the public. If parents must pay an actual bill for their children's schooling they will seek out the best deal and likely pay attention to the quality of the education. This "free market" approach may just yield better schools since they're be actual competition. I realize this would be a radical change from what we are used to and we'd need to figure out how to make sure all children are educated, but public schools keep declining in quality despite all the money thrown at them.

DeDeuceCoupe32

Eliminating entitled elitist parents from competing in the public schools system would allow the less fortunate and special needs kids to excel to the top and even the playing field.

DickD

That would suit me fine, it would cut my property taxes in half. It would mean not requiring children to attend schools and if you think things are bad now, try eliminating schools.

b1sellers

This would set us back so much farther than we are now. Of course the best education would go to the people who have the money. Poor (or poorer) kids would either get a crappy education or none at all. Hence, the reason for public education in the first place. And what exactly is in decline? What "money thrown at them" has not helped the quality? Personally I think education should be federalized - take the states out of it and make it the same across the country. That would certainly help the quality.

DickD

Nobody has ever told me what is wrong with the public schools, just a lot of ranting and raving about charter schools and now vouchers for private schools. There never was a doubt in my mind where the Republicans were going with this, they have been trying to destroy public schools for some time. Now they can take money from the public schools and give it to for profit organizations and those willing to teach religion in school. They get away from our elected school boards and take our rights to control schools away from us. It has been their goal and now they are succeeding. Get rid of this Republican Governor. "Basic right" where do you get that from, certainly not the Constitution.

phydeaux994

Seems to me you do most of the ranting and raving about schools as evidenced by your rant above. The following link is to a very good article that explains the difference between traditional public schools and charter and private schools. FYI

DickD

I looked at your site, there is a lot of PR for charter schools, no answer to my question, what is wrong with public schools. So, you have no idea yourself and rely on a web site that does not answer the question and accuse me of ranting and raving. You seem to be paranoid as you cannot answer the question.

phydeaux994

Sorry, I forgot the link......http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/public-private-charter-schools/

Dwasserba

There seem to be generalizations here that could be challenged that went unexplored, I assume due to word limits...homeschooling families' success is a growing part of the dissatisfieds' "choice" too. There are already standards for scholarships that rule out those who can afford private schooling (this for those who think the needy need not apply), but the word has to get out about availability and welcome. And lots of people who can't "afford" private school are simply making other "choices" that rule it out (cars, clothes, vacations, "best" neighborhoods, great toys...) Will this help private schools diversify? Time will tell. But they must be funded to stay in existence and if they close for lack of families that can "afford" them, those former students will go to public schools, and that won't help.

DeDeuceCoupe32

Anne, Those private school parents help take the burden off of over crowded under funded public schools are the bad guys, you know anything public sector good, all private sector bad lol. Public schools already favor the chosen ones the system is designed around. Whoops the secret is out.

MCEDDE21

Sechler: " That $5 million will make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of children..." right. just not the children you don't give a damm about--the poor, the disabled, the special needs students; those from broken homes, black kids, brown kids.

Disgusting.

Thewheelone

Correct, MC...21 The kids who have the least advocacy will receive no benefit from this 5 million. More drivel from the elitist crowd...

DickD

Amen, amen![thumbup]

armillary

[thumbup]

DeDeuceCoupe32

So if all public school sports programs were cut and that money went to special needs kids, jock parents wouldn't blow a gasket? LOL LOL LOL

DickD

"All work and no play, made Jack a dull boy." A proverb. It means that without time off from work, a person becomes both bored and boring.

Blueline

Frederick County's school budget is $560M, so $5M statewide would not appear to be much in terms of funneling money away other schools.

bosco

Once the camel gets his nose under the tent, soon the whole camel is in the tent with you. Name one government funded program that has been eliminated in the past 20 years. The 5 mil is a drop in the bucket once it's established. Then we'll need an ever-increasing bureaucracy to administer it.

bosco

I agree with choices in education.....just not with my tax money. My taxes go to support the public school system. I do not want them going to support a private school - which is just that, private.

As far as "failing" schools, the tools for an education are there - it's idiot parents who fail to prepare their little darlings to use those tools.

threecents

Every school - public or private - competes against every other school. Students compete against each other. There is plenty of competition built into the system. Charter schools tend to do worse than regular public schools because they might not know what they are doing or they may have fewer resources. Private schools tend to do better because they don't accept problem students and they usually have greater resources. Like Bosco said, I don't want my tax dollars going to private schools.

armillary

Anne Sechler, I have a proposal that might make some sense to you. The next time your car needs new tires, give me the money you were planning to spend on new tires, and I will use it to buy new tires for my car. By your logic, we'll have proven that your car was failing anyway. And no, I won't drive you to work.

MCEDDE21

[thumbup]

vicdavy

Good one,arm! LOL

public-redux

Anne Sechler, Don't listen to armillary! It is a very bad idea. Give your tire money to me instead.

DeDeuceCoupe32

The middle class who use private schools don't need a free ride. Thats the M O of a middle class public school advocate.

Blueline

Armillary - you got 4 new tires 3 months ago and now you need a new set? What happened?

armillary

Anne Sechler gave me a choice.

DickD

[thumbup][thumbup] Good one AR.

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