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The Perils of a Private Education-only System

Original post made by Stop the Trolls, another community, on Apr 19, 2016

One of our more prolific posters here on this Town Square site, Jack Hickey, insists that the private education system is the only reasonable option for educating school-age youngsters, at least in this area. His argument comes down to, and I am probably paraphrasing here, that the public-education system should be "the option of last resort."

However, there are significant problems with relying solely on the private sector for accomplishing this task, as the Mercury News documents:

Web Link

Web Link

Comments (16)

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Posted by For-Profit
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Apr 19, 2016 at 5:39 pm

For profit education is like for-profit prison systems and for-profit health insurance companies - a disaster.

Their goal is, first and FOREMOST - profit.

In the case of insurance companies, they fill entire buildings with people whose function is to simply deny health care. Add in the obscene salaries, and for-profit insurance throws a 30 percent cost burden on the system. And, oh, yeah, people die from lack of care due to the profit motive. Someone has to pay for the gold plated fixtures in the executive washroom.

Then there is the out and out fraud - case in point being FL Gov Rick Scott:

Scott "resigned as chief executive of Columbia/HCA in 1997, amid a controversy over the company's business and Medicare billing practices; the company ultimately admitted to fourteen felonies and agreed to pay the federal government over $600 million, which was the largest fraud settlement in US history."

A fraud of 1.7 BILLION, and they got off for a measly 600 million.

IOKIYAR

Web Link

Some things should never be privatized.

Education is certainly one of them.





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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 20, 2016 at 10:37 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Thanks for starting this topic. I hope it generates meaningful dialogue.

Let me clarify my position:
I do not "insist" that the private education system is the only reasonable option for educating school-age youngsters. I suggest that a continuum of education alternatives would be much better than the government schooling monopoly.
I do believe that government schools should be schools of last resort.

From my initial 1979 Hickey-Canfield Performance Voucher Initiative, a proposed Constitutional Amendment:

Sec. 1. INTENT OF THE PEOPLE b. The Principles of Subsidiarity and Accountability being the essence of this Article, it is the will of the people that the Legislature shall enact no laws restricting how, where, why or when the education of the people occurs, and, unless otherwise provided for in this Article, all monies expended by the State or any of its agencies for the education of the people shall be allocated in the form of Performance Payments made directly to the student, parent or legal guardian, or to their assignees, for subject-related performance.

Essentially, "When Johnny and Mary learn to read and write, Mommy and Daddy get paid"

It would replace this:

SECTION 1. A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being
essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the
people, the Legislature shall encourage by all suitable means the
promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral, and agricultural
improvement.

After digesting the Mercury article, I did a rough calculation to determine the annual cost per K12 Inc Charter School student of less than $2,900. I used the $310 million over 12 years divided by an average annual enrollment of 9,000 (calculated from the graph). As an Advocate for Taxpayers, I'm pleasantly surprised at the savings of more than 80%. And, these students don't have to pay the annual opportunity cost of 180 days of attendance in government institutions. Their increased productivity is a colatteral benefit.
I also posted a comment to join the many who support alternatives to the government schooling system.


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 20, 2016 at 10:46 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Addendum This is the complete statement of intent:
Sec. 1. INTENT OF THE PEOPLE
a. A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people, the Legislature shall encourage, by the means provided for in this Article, the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral and agricultural improvement.
b. The Principles of Subsidiarity and Accountability being the
essence of this Article, and acknowledging the diversity of lifestyles in this State, it is the will of the people that the Legislature shall enact no laws restricting how, where, why or when the education of the people occurs, and, unless otherwise provided for in this Article, all monies expended by the State or any of its agencies for the education of the people, shall be allocated, in the form of Performance Payments. directly to the student, or legal guardian or assignee thereof, for subject-related performance.
c. Nothing in this section shall affect the provisions of Article XIII.
See:


Like this comment
Posted by For-Profit
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Apr 20, 2016 at 10:47 am

"When Johnny and Mary learn to read and write, Mommy and Daddy get paid"

Refer to such fantastic theories as the Laffer Curve, Trickle Down, etc..

Fantastic.

fan·tas·tic
fanˈtastik
adjective
1. imaginative or fanciful; remote from reality.


Like this comment
Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2016 at 1:31 pm

I really expected better from you, Hickey.

You obviously did NOT actually read the articles I linked to. Had you done so, you would have noticed that K12 students are NOT getting the sort of education that they would require to function as adults in their future lives. In addition, you would have noticed that K12 Inc. is engaged in what can only be characterized as a naked money grab.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 20, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

What I have noticed is that K12 Inc. has enabled 10,0000 students to escape the institutions of government at a savings to taxpayers of roughly $70,000,000/year.
K12 Inc is only one of the alternatives to government schools. And, since charter schools generally cost almost as much as the existing system and are too closely attached to that system, they are not my favorite alternative. This one is an exception so long as public funding does not increase.

One can only hope that enough students from the MPCSD district choose K12 Inc. or other alternatives so the District can eliminate the parcel taxes and lease classroom space to other alternative education providers.


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Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2016 at 4:09 pm

And yet again, Hickey, you miss the point *completely*. Your obsession with counting money is blinding you to the fact that K12 Inc., along with many other private-education scams, is out to make money for their shareholders -- NOT to provide an actual education for the students they enroll.

Do you not get that???


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 20, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Read the comments of parents which follows the article. Would you deny them this choice which costs the public nothing, but actually saves roughly $70,000,000/year.

Correction to my last post: Make that 10,000 students, not 10,0000. But then, you know what I meant.


Like this comment
Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2016 at 4:22 pm

Jack Hickey -- "Read the comments of parents which follows the article. Would you deny them this choice which costs the public nothing, but actually saves roughly $70,000,000/year."

Translation: I didn't read the actual articles, because they go against my beliefs.

Pathetic.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 20, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Pathetic.
Translation: "Yes, I would deny them this choice which costs the public nothing, but actually saves roughly $70,000,000/year."

Do we agree that the responsibility for providing food, clothing and shelter, in the first instance, lies with the family(however you choose to define it)? And, that the feeding of the mind is included in that responsibility?


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Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2016 at 4:37 pm

And yet again, Hickey provides more pathetic arguments.

"Do we agree that the responsibility for providing food, clothing and shelter, in the first instance, lies with the family(however you choose to define it)? And, that the feeding of the mind is included in that responsibility?"

You obviously missed the part of how K12 Inc. is NOT providing anything resembling an education to the majority of its students -- and that there is no mechanism in place to hold them accountable for their fraud.

But I guess when your whole mantra revolves around the evils of government (never mind that you are more than happy to be an elected official on a board you "supposedly" want to get rid of), that should come as no surprise.


20 people like this
Posted by Stop the Libtards
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 20, 2016 at 9:14 pm

Some liberals believe that if the Government does not provide it then its not worth having. Private Schools with very few exceptions, like Lowell High in San Francisco being one, do not provide as good an education as private schools in general. There are some exceptions to this but by and large private schools are better.The are several reasons for this:
1) Not California Teachers Union. A private school can fire an incompetent teacher.

2) Low overhead. No superintendents, like the one in the LAUSD feeding at the trough for more money than the POTUS makes.

3) Manageable disciplinary problems. Students can actually be expelled for misbehavior. In public schools some teachers are put on paid administrative leave for statutory rape of a student and some student violently assault their teachers.

4) No Common Core- The one size fits all approach to education bores the high achievers and causes the not so bright students to give up.

5) No political proselytizing by teachers. They actually teach the subject matter without wandering off and espousing their biased political views. This is not to say the private school teachers don't have political biases but the keep them out of the classroom because they can actually be disciplined or even let go for trying to indoctrinate students to accept their political views.


6 people like this
Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2016 at 8:55 am

@Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park -- Don't tell me, you didn't read the Mercury News articles either.

Right?


Like this comment
Posted by Doug Radtke
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2016 at 10:39 am

I tend to agree with Jack Hickey's views and I understand that there is reluctance from groups who strongly support public education to accept certain facts about education.

The fact is that even in the wake of Serrano v. Priest, public education in inherently unequal and unfair. Despite attempts at reforming public education funding from revenue limit to LCFF (local control formula funded) - the poor children who do not have any choice in the matter of what school district they are born in suffer, while wealthier districts like Menlo Park can pass oppressive parcel taxes - creating the very institutions the public education supporters purport to not want - a system where the privileged few get all the benefits. The opulence of some of the facilities in the wealthier districts rival colleges.

Please note: I have not touched upon any political ideology at this point - reforming education funding is nearly impossible due to the rules of property tax allocation set forth by AB 8 decades ago and the complex interaction of subsequent bills which require counties to form ERAF funds which are subsequently plundered to pay cities their VLF swap/"Triple Flip" revenue that was used for the "bailout" bonds during the Schwarzenegger years which continues to defund and impact public education to this very day.

It would take an amendment to the California Constitution to fix this woefully broken and abused system. It is a non-partisan issue to agree that education funding is absolutely broken and in the current form - unfixable.

The only fair system is to allow people the freedom of choice and mobility. The nobility in wealthier school districts are quick to rally about this is "my school district" and I want "local control".

Hickey's Voucher System or a form of educational property tax credit would introduce competition and choice into a broken education system that can not be fixed without a literal "Act of God".

The devil is in the details - and many public education advocates simply don't understand the details at all. The irony of the uneducated preaching education is not lost upon me.


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Posted by Doug R.
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Doug R. is a registered user.

I've read the article. Do you believe only private industry can be corrupt and that public agencies are immune to regulatory capture? K12 is a chater school which receives government funding and is not fully private. Charter Schools are at the core - a suboptimal solution and a flawed compromise subject to regulatory capture possibly to a greater extent than public schools itself.

Jack Hickey is suggesting a private voucher system or education tax credit which is the optimal solution. Charter schools at their worst function like the OBAMACARE of education - a compromise of public/private interests that creates worse outcomes than what is originally in place.

Your argument has no premise and relies on cherry picking. In fact, the failure of government to exercise proper oversight into charter schools that receive government tax dollars. For every K12, there is a Charter School in the worst wards of New Orleans that are exceeding and excelling.

There are just as many public schools with tremendous academic achievement as those who continuously fail - neither cherry picking the data of charter schools or public schools function as effective proof of your statement. It is a combination of providing maximum freedom, choice, liberty, and positive outcomes in education that should be the goal - education free from ideological bias (which you clearly hold, deeply). The very definition of failure is repeating mistakes and expecting better outcomes - this is public education in a nutshell and the premise that throwing money at a wonky discriminatory funding system is going to fix things. It is demonstrated already through ERAF plundering, that Sacramento can and will redirect money earmarked for education and spend it on other means. The same goes for "temporarily lifting" mandatory education funding appropriations. Poorer LCFF school districts suffer from this - while community funded district such as Menlo Park thrive in their ivory towers. Is that fair? Is that the kind of system you endorse?

Consumption of any product be it clothing or education will almost always function better when exposed to true competition.

I think Jack would agree: we seek improved educational outcomes for all children, regardless of socioeconomic status and are suggesting a very real means for children to seek the education they deserve - an outcome that through my research of law, is impossible to achieve with the public school system in California due to the highly complex interaction of law in regards to tax receipt allocations. Only a California Constitutional Amendment can fix this - and the legislature in our state is subject so highly to regulatory capture - the teacher's union will ALWAYS put their livelihood before the children.

The sheep in the electorate will also always confuse the interests of the union with your sacred cow of public education.

Your premise that only public education can solve the needs of children is an absolute flawed one. Instead of telling people to read a cherry picked San Jose Mercury I have a "homework assignment for you" (how appropriate):

1) Read AB 8
2) Read the complete text of Proposition 98, 111, and 172 (172 in relation to lost revenue from ERAF shifts)
3) Read AB 864 - and the effect on Yolo County's education for reference
4) Read Proposition 57
5) Read up on VLF Swap/Triple Flip, and truly understand how those mechanisms wor
6) Read about Proposition 1A (2004)

I've done a presentation of the matter, please feel free to read my whitepaper:

Web Link

I have a taxation flowchart that if you're truly interested you can read.

Public education can not solve our education crisis - it's legislatively impossible at this point.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 22, 2016 at 11:42 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

The Alliance for the Separation of School & State, now defunct, left a website which is a valuable resource for those who support Choice in Education. Web Link Founded by the late Marshall Fritz, it was later run by Alan Schaeffer who is now President of Network for Education. Web Link Alan is committed to maintain the Separation of School & State website as is.
I urge viewers to visit these websites.


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