This Thursday at 1:00 pm the Joint Interim House and Senate Committee on School Accreditation will have a hearing at City Academy in Saint Louis. The function of this committee is to evaluate the impact of recent court cases on school attendance and student choices.
I will be testifying at this hearing because of my deep concern about the lack of accreditation and the length of time since it was lost. Simply put, while lobbyists and the teachers unions fight over tenure and things that the adults care about; children have been going without an education. This is a travesty that must not be allowed to continue.
“But, you can’t possibly be for school choice!!! That would defund public schools and send public dollars to private institutions!!!” Seriously? Of course I can and do support school choice for unaccredited districts. The reason is simple. The schools are failing. So shut them down. Instead of wringing hands and firing and hiring new administrators and bringing in pricey Superintendents from yither and yon; why not send the children to private schools in their district? Why not allow the parents the option of parochial schools? How about relaxing the restrictions on charters and allowing more of those to open? To learn more about accredited education, click here.
As far as the public money to private institution argument, where do opponents of reform think the tax money comes from? Private citizens pay taxes. So the money should follow the child in unaccredited districts. The per pupil expenditure would inevitably go down, since private parochial education ($8,000 per student) is much more cost effective than public per pupil expenditures (16,000 per pupil) in the city of Saint Louis.
There are no good reasons for refusing to try reforms and solutions. A lack of support for school reform for failing school districts is tantamount to damning a whole city , 83,000 + students to growing up without options. And that is what I can’t support or believe in.