Tag Archives: Private School

North Carolina: Education


For the first time in 150 years, North Carolina has a republican controlled government.  It should surprise no one that republican favored agendas are being passed into law.

[ It should also serve as a stark lesson to all liberals who rejoiced in massive democratic majorities following the election of Obama that such majorities are not always good ]

One of the priorities of the republican legislature is to pass a voucher bill:

The House budget set aside $10 million for vouchers this year for families meeting income requirements, and $40 million next year. Parents would receive $4,200 per child to help cover private school tuition. Vouchers are in play in the negotiations between House and Senate budget writers.

Such “hatred of poor kids” is, of course, the subject of Moral Monday marches in Raleigh.  For as long as I can remember, the concept of vouchers in specific and private schools in general have been a special hatred of the left.

And I can’t understand why.

I get that the state has a vested interest in the education of its children.  And in so far as the state is interested in said education, I would suppose that how that education was delivered would largely be inconsequential.  What MIGHT be of importance is who is best able to deliver education that results in the highest levels of quality.  That is, if the state can do it better than the private school, then I get the argument that the state should provide education.

However, our public schools are horrible, yes?  And if private schools are able to deliver at least equal levels of education at prices that are dramatically cheaper, ought we not go where it makes sense?  And there is little evidence to suggest that public schools are superior to private ones.

So why the outrage over private school vouchers?

Is it because the left feels that parents of the most at risk students don’t care enough even to apply for and receive such vouchers?  Or is it because the democrat machine is dominated by the most powerful lobbying force in the country – the Teacher’s Union?

Role Of Government

I think the government has a role to play in educating our kids.  And the reason I think this is because children ate not free actors in all of their decisions.  For example, if left to their own devices, many parents would just skate on school and may never force their kids to go.

I think that kids need to be protected from that.

With that said, I don’t think that government actually has to BE the educators.  It is enough that they ensure an education is given:

Raleigh, N.C. — Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake, on Monday filed a bill that would help families pay for private school tuition.

Stam calls the proposal the “Opportunity Scholarship program,” but opponents say it’s a voucher scheme that won’t help students who need it most.

“Parents can do a better job of picking the best educational environment for their child than the state can,” Stam said. “This empowers parents of limited means to make that choice effectively.”

I’m not sure that state education is better than private education.  In fact, my experience is that the private school is better.  As long as the government is ensuring that a kid is educated, why should it matter where that education takes place?  And to the extent that it DOES matter, why not send the kid to the better school?

Private Christian School

I’ve mentioned before that I have some history with the public schools.  In addition to attending a small public school in Minnesota, we had one elementary school, one middle school and one high school, my dad taught in that system.  I went on to college to become a teacher and then I taught in an even smaller public school system.  This district consisted of three small rural towns.  One town had the elementary school, another had the middle school and finally, the third town had the high school.

I’m a big proponent of state mandated education for our children.  And I’ve been a big proponent of the public schools.  However, as my children age into the system, the shine is wearing off and I’ve begun to see massive flaws in the system.

At the end of last year, my wife and I finally decided to pull our kids out of the public schools.  Substandard results with substandard management with substandard teachers was going to be the normal fare for the next 13 years; we already had 3 in and the light at the end of the tunnel wasn’t getting any brighter.

When we started shopping for a private school we didn’t really care if the school was religious or not.  All we really wanted was stability,  a strong emphasis on achievement, a leadership focus and a sense of community.  In the end, we choose a school as much for the community as for the achievement of it’s students.  Perhaps we’re lucky in that we have a great school so close to our neighborhood.  In any event, the school is Christian; non-denominational, but Christian.

As I mentioned, I grew up in rural Minnesota.  It may sound strange to say, but while religion is a big part of the culture there in on prairie, it’s a very private kinda thing.  It’s not the type of religion people see on TV.   There is no gospel choir, there is no fire and brimstone, there’s no speaking in tongues.  People don’t go around proselytizing.  In fact, churches in Minnesota are able to save money because they don’t have to build the first three rows of pews [the joke is that good Lutherans don’t sit up front].

I’ve been to church all the way from Seattle to Wilmington.  I’ve seen a lot of it.  And in Minnesota there isn’t the holding of hands during the Lord’s Prayer.  We never hugged people while sharing the peace.  Like I said, religion is a private kinda thing.

All of which contributed to my surprise when I attended our school’s varsity basketball game last night.  It was a blow-out.  Our guys beat ’em by 40.  The other team was frustrated, tired and beat up.  Tempers were beginning to flare.  When the buzzer sounded I started to get the kids into their coats and get ready to go.  However, after the players shook hands they all made their way to center court where coaches, cheerleaders, officials knelt and bowed their heads in prayer.

It was powerful.

I love our new school.


Media Bias – II

Last month I posted about Media Bias as it pertained to the coverage in the Wisconsin Labor dispute between the public sector unions and Governor Walker.  In it, I decried that while Gallup DID, in fact, report on their poll that showed strong support for the limitation of State workers.  However, Gallup hid that report so deep and under such misguided headlines that it would never be found.

The top 3 most popular choices in dealing with state budgets?  Reducing the power and influence of the state worker.  Specifically, reducing the ability of the state unions to collectively bargain.

Recent headlines made me stop as I saw yet another case of media bias.

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