Today I am featuring a post from a blogger friend, this incident happened recently and because she didn’t feel comfortable posting on her own blog where the woman involved may see it, I offered her a voice. It’s a subject you know pisses me off no end anyway so it’s nice to see others getting pissed off about the state of Education in America. Please enjoy and if you love her as much as I do then be sure to head on over and read more of Alyson at The Shitastrophy.
The state of Indiana, where I live – kinda, has implemented a school voucher system. Indiana is not known as a progressive land, more a land of corn and Amish and cows. Did I mention corn? Indiana is conservative, having voted Republican the last election and most prior elections as well. They did swing Democratic a few times, but decided they only go one way and went back to the shit they know and love – red. Oh that was fun.
Indiana ushered out the past Democratic Governor and swept in a new Republican with quite a large swing. Yes I did it again. The conservatives had their guy back on top and they were stoked (or stroked – third times a charm really). The new Governor made one of his first pillars Education Reform. Awesome, who doesn’t love education? People want good quality schools for their kids. Who wouldn’t? Indiana instituted a State Voucher System that has had some issues since it’s inception, in my opinion.
Vouchers? What are those? Well in a nutshell parents in failing school districts can take their taxpayer money that was earmarked for public school and now send their funds and child to a private school. In theory this is a great idea. Here’s why.
If you live in a shitty school system why should your kid continue to be screwed? This is not something minor we are talking about; this is their education. This is what will determine their future paths. Why should a child be limited by their parent’s financial inabilities to afford the awesome house in the awesome school district? In a land that is constantly weighing fair against unfair this would seem to me the pinnacle of unfair.
I live in the shitty school system. My kids go to the private schools but we do not get the benefit of the vouchers. There is an income cut off that prohibits our family from benefiting from this law. Shit happens. As a parent that has seen first hand the impact of this law, here are my issues.
1) Taxpayer money is now going from public schools to private, primarily religious based schools. How does this not break the separation of church and state provisions in our constitution? It doesn’t according to the Indiana Supreme Court.
2) The private schools are now required to provide a large amount of accommodations for the new students to bring them up to speed. This would be fine if the private schools were also provided special education teachers, or other resources – but they are not.
3) By making a decision to draw a line on income, some families that have worked their asses off to afford private school prior to the implementation of this law are now priced out. These families pinched and saved, taking on multiple jobs to make private school possible. Now they make too much to meet the state requirements for the vouchers, while other families that have done nothing to advance their socio-economic status will get the full benefit. How is that fair? It’s not.
These were some of my main issues with the vouchers, that is until the other day when I almost lost my fucking mind.
I was picking another child up for a play date when her mother informed me, “Thank God I am getting vouchers for all three of the kids!”
“Oh, that’s great.” (I totally don’t know why she is telling me this.)
“Yeah, so-and-so in the office called me to tell me that all of the kids were now covered.”
“Wonderful, the school would hate to have seen them go, glad it was worked out.” (Why do people tell me this kind of shit? Please just drop your kid off and go.)
Now here is the crowning jewel of the entire conversation…wait for it…wait for it…
“Yeah, if it wasn’t for the vouchers we would have had to quit the Blah-Blah Country Club.”
BOOM! BAMM! WTF? Did this chick just tell me that she has a fucking country club membership?!!!
I am pretty sure Indiana did not have that in mind when they gave the vouchers out to families in the state. Take note lawmakers – if you have a fucking COUNTRY CLUB membership you should not be getting a fucking voucher!
What are your thoughts on this? I personally think it is bullshit, in case you hadn’t noticed.