Thursday, May 25, 2006

Brooks Compared Public Education to Captivity, Vouchers for Private Schools to Emancipation

After reading the following from Kay Brooks' blog, I have a hard time believing that she will help public schools better educate students if elected in August:

Freedom in Ohio--

The state that was the demarcation between free and slave states does it again by demonstrating education freedom. That same ethnic group joyfully embraced and fought for choice in Cincinnati and their struggle has set more captives free in the rest of the state.

The State Legislature has passed a voucher program, okaying millions of public tax dollars to send students to private schools. Monday, the state began getting out the word on how the program will work.(snip)The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers says draining money from public schools is no way to help public schools: From WKRC

Note to the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers: it's not about helping public schools--it's about actually educating students.

Note to Kay Brooks: your views scare me. If you believe that vouchers are analogous to freeing the slaves, then the path to siphoning money away from public schools and toward private ones is justified in your mind.

If voters are looking for line items that MNPS board member Kay Brooks would likely cut, she's given some hints on her blog:
As I began to read [the MNPS budget] certain phrases kept coming up again and again. No, they weren't curriculum, teacher salaries, utility expenses or even 'supplies' they were the words transportation, feeding, discipline, health and counseling. Well, obviously, we spend a great big chunk of that $570 million budget on stuff that isn't really education. Things I think exceed any mandate the government may have to educate its citizenry [from September 14, 2005, emphasis mine; "may have"?!].
[I]t's so hard to believe that MNPS needs more money. We're hardly past the handwringing over the failure to get the 1/2 cent sales tax increase and the horrors that will result in loss of jobs and services and, if I'm reading this correctly, MNPS is fixing to spend $494,000 for 11 more Pre-K classes. How can that be?

Of course, to me the whole idea is just wrong. 4 year olds need to be at home with their families [from September 30, 2005, emphasis mine].
"Advocates say afterschool programs can boost academic, physical, and social development of children while keeping them safe. From WATE in Knoxville."

What can really boost all of these is a parent who can stay home. Let's work at helping parents keep more of their income so they can do what they can do--should do [from October 22, 2005, emphasis mine].
There you have it. Unless Kay Brooks has had a change of heart in the last few months, budget cuts that she seems comfortable with include: transportation, feeding, discipline, health and counseling, pre-K classes, and afterschool programs. The question preying on my mind is would she support sending the surplus from cuts like this to voucher and/or homeschool programs?

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