Chariho School Parents’ Forum

November 30, 2007

The obvious solution to all of our problems

Filed under: School Choice — Editor @ 11:26 am

I have long been a proponent of school choice – just let the parents make those buying decisions just like we do with clothes, food, cars and just about everything else.  Give parents the power to remove their child from a school they do not believe provides an adequate education.

American normally abhors a monopoly, but for some reason (an obvious reason), the education monopoly is protected. Today’s ProJo editorial tells you how school choice was defeated in Utah –

Perhaps it was the fear that it would have worked — badly shaking up the status quo — that led the entire education establishment in Utah to oppose the reform, including the Utah Education Association (the teachers union), the Utah School Boards Association, the Utah School Superintendents Associations, the elementary- and secondary-school-principals’ associations, and the Parent-Teachers Association. Those supporting vouchers included Utah’s legislators, who had studied the matter carefully and passed legislation, and the governor, who signed it into law — until the unions obtained enough signatures for the referendum overturning it.

Some of these arguments we have heard before.

Another ad said there would be “no accountability” in the private schools. That, too, was false, since students in those schools would have been required to take standardized tests that would have helped to demonstrate whether the voucher system was working.

The Chariho School Board had an opportunity to open up a little choice for parents by supporting legislation that would have removed the cap on Charter Schools (public schools not bound by union contracts).  Our Chairman Bill Day fought successfully against that measure because he didn’t think those schools had enough government regulations to ensure that they were operating properly.  Mr. Day does not seem to think that parents are able to make those choices or capable of knowing whether or not their child is being educated properly.   

Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that his wife and son are both on the Chariho payroll and he understands that if parents were given a choice, many probably would not attend Chariho and his family members might be out of a job.  Of course, schools that perform their job well have nothing to worry about – why would a parent leave a successful school?



  1. I spoke with an acquaintance of mine from Utah not long after they defeated vouchers. He is a Mormon…a new Dad…and he voted against vouchers. The union propaganda definitely influenced his decision, but other factors came into play as well.

    For instance, according to a 2004 Census update, Utah’s per pupil spending was 51st in the country (includes District of Columbia). They spend less than $5,000 per pupil. Rhode Island was 9th at over $9,000 per pupil.

    Clearly vouchers have proven themselves in the few places where the unions have not prevailed. Milwaukee has had great success improving educational outcomes since vouchers were put in place. Not suprisingly, and perhaps comforting for the Day family, public school vastly improved once they were faced with competition for education dollars.

    Mr. Day and his family should not be afraid of parental choice. Unless of course they feel they don’t have the skills and abilities to competitively educate our children? If that’s the case, they should be very worried about vouchers.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 30, 2007 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  2. One of the main problems with Utah was that they were trying to bribe the Unions to accept vouchers – from the article
    “The average voucher would have cost $2,000, while the state spends $7,500 per child. The $5,500 difference would have gone to the public schools — giving them more money per pupil!”

    Image how that could play out – what if all the parents pulled their kids from a school – the school would still get $5500 per student NOT ENROLLED – it could operate without any kids in the school and still make payrol. Amazing

    I would have been tempted to vote against it just for that reason – I see no reason to bribe the union to give me the freedom of choice.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — November 30, 2007 @ 12:12 pm | Reply

  3. If there is any benefit in using info from my Utah acquaintance, let me know? We didn’t have an in depth discussion of the voucher vote…we played voicemail tag…so I’m not sure if he was aware of the “bribe” or not.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 30, 2007 @ 12:36 pm | Reply

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