Monday, September 01, 2014

Simple, Fair & Constitutional School Funding

There is an old maxim which declares: "Why simple when, with a little effort, it can be made so beautifully complicated?".  This appears to directly apply to Wisconsin's "school aid formula" and those of many states.  Some of our hard earned tax-moneys are spent for various local and state-level bureaucrats (eg In both the Department of Education and local school districts), lobbyists and other like critters who attempt to form that program towards the interests of certain communities, teachers' groups (And the elected officials they have bought/rented/leased)--And are, therefore, not spent towards the education of our children.  [It even might be that spending unequal parts of state funds, on a geographic basis, for that purpose violates both the constitutions of both the USA and some of "The Several States".]

Since I am loath to present a problem without offering a solution, the following should be Wisconsin's method of allocating state tax funds for the education of our children.
1. All state aid should be paid out in vouchers to the parents/guardians of pupils/students in an equal amount per child without verified "special needs".
2. The parents/guardians of those with medically established (Reviewed not less often than every two years) "special needs" would receive a higher sum consistent with the real additional costs of educating medically verified "special needs" students.
3. Those parents/guardians would be allowed to assign those vouchers to the public/private school of their choice, filtering those payments through those persons should remove any "separation of church and state" objections if religion-based schools are selected for such payment. (Unassigned vouchers would default to the public school district in which each such child lives.)
4. Although any such private schools must meet certain minimum standards, those must not be designed by the same bureaucrats noted above.
5. All public and private schools must be bound by well defined ("Reliable and valid") and measurable goals.
6. The administrators of private schools whose students do not meet those goals to be legally presumed to be guilty of "Fraud". ***
7. The administrators of public schools whose students likewise fail to meet goals to be legally presumed to be guilty of "Misconduct In Public Office". ***
8. Provision should be considered for reimbursing the parents/guardians of home schooled children for texts, on-line educational services and the like---If, and only if, those students are periodically tested for educational level and their progress is consistent with other schools.

I note that transportation costs, in rural areas, could be reduced by returning to two-to-four room primary schools (With visiting specialists) where such could be demonstrated as economically sound.   Consideration should also be given to appropriate use of supervised (In such schools/town halls/other public buildings) of on-line high school classes---Perhaps, reducing the need to transport high school students to two days each week for lab/shop/physical-education and like classes.

Of course, all of those critters listed above would rise-up and wage Jihad against such a threat to their incomes and power and against those opposed to lock-step (Or, is it "goose step"?) school systems.
*** District Attorneys would be prohibited, by law, from not prosecuting such cases where anyone files, on oath/affirmation, a complaint as to such violations. Any such failure to be "Misconduct In Public Office" and authority to prosecute given to the Attorney General.

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