A response to HB2068 to expand Kansas’ Tax Credit for Low Income program.
(Because we haven’t experienced enough growth of the government…sarc on!)
People have been led to believe that school choice, via some type of government mechanism (vouchers, tax credits, tax credit scholarships, ESAs, etc.) is the solution to escaping what they may not like about public education. They contend it will foster competition between government subsidized private schools and government public schools, with parents having more choice between schools and schools working to improve.
Do entities in receipt of government subsidies, tax incentives/breaks, or savings mechanisms have the same autonomy as entities whose receipts and finances are not the result of a government incentive, subsidy, or savings mechanism? Do government designed and approved constructs come with requirements as to eligibility, qualifications, limits, allowances, reporting, compliance, etc., or are they free of such things? What example exists demonstrating the lack of government interference or control when in receipt of government funding, subsidies, tax breaks, or savings mechanisms? Where has the government infusion of funding ever not increased costs for all?
We even have statements and findings to affirm the goal of inevitable interference and control by the government. A few are nicely provided by Charlotte Iserbyt in “Choice” Mixing Oil with Water. http://deliberatedumbingdown.com/ddd/2019/03/03/choice-mixing-oil-with-water/
– George Bernard Shaw, of the socialist Fabian Society of England, said, “Nothing will more quickly destroy independent Christian schools than state aid; their freedom and independence will soon be compromised, and before long their faith.” https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/vouchers-freedom-and-slavery
– ALEC founder, Paul Weyrich: “We are radicals who want to change the existing power structure. We are not conservatives … We want change – we are the forces of change.” In 1981, ALEC mailed a proposed voucher model to 16,000 state and federal officials. https://lithub.com/how-fringe-christian-nationalists-made-abortion-a-central-political-issue/
– Thomas A. Shannon, Executive Director of NSBA said, “Tuition Tax credits for private school profoundly change the character of private education. Private schools that operate with public money will be subject to public regulations.” “The immutable fact is that what the government funds, the government regulates,” Mr. Shannon warned, “and that’s going to change the character of private schools enormously.” https://www.edweek.org/education/proposals-for-private-school-choice-reviving-at-all-levels-of-government/1991/02
– Per The Interagency Day Care Standards:
– “Any agency, public or private, which receives federal funds directly or indirectly through a grant or contract… or by way of a voucher plan” must meet all programs that are set down for public schools. Acceptance of Federal funds is an agreement to abide by the requirements.”
– In a March 1984 U.S. Supreme Court ruled that private schools are subject to government regulation because they enroll students who receive tuition money from the government. Even though the checks are payable to individual students, not the school, the Court says any scholarships, loans, or grants to students “constitute federal financial assistance.” https://thenewamerican.com/how-independent-are-private-schools/
Therefore, let’s consider Kansas’ tax credit scholarship program:
– Defines parameters on amounts and uses of scholarship monies
– Defines student “eligibility”
– Defines characteristics and state accreditations requirements of “qualifying” schools
– Lays out the KS statutes that establish the program
– Lays out all the state requirements and reporting SGOs must comply with
– Lays out all the school accountability reporting requirements
– Lays out the reporting in order to comply with federal ESSA, state board CCR metrics, state longitudinal achievement reporting, etc.
There’s certainly no lack of government regulation.
School choice marketing asserts that there can be stipulations (i.e. limits) on government regulation. But, the evidence is to the contrary. Rulings and legislation language have decisively affirmed that acceptance of or participation in government financial constructs obligates the acceptance of government regulation. What should lead any person to logically think this “school choice” to be the exception?
Look at Kansas’ own history in regard to these tax credit scholarships. How has this program alone impacted the institutions participating? Are any not state accredited? Are any operating under standards that do not meet state standards for accreditation? Are any not submitting reports to the state? Are any not required to comply with the K.S.A. 72-5170 requirement for schools to publish accountability measures as established by the KSBOE in regard to SEL, kindergarten readiness, individual plans of study, graduation, and postsecondary success?
How has this program impacted the kids attending? Are any of the scholarship recipients receiving an education not accredited by the state? Are any of the kids not compelled to participate in SEL? Are any of the kids not on individual plans of study? Are any of the kids not listed in state databases with commensurate data points?
Privately funded education schools have always had the freedom to choose who attends their schools, to choose their own academic constructs, to choose to decline social emotional and mental health programming, to choose their financial constructs, to choose their hiring policies, to choose not to report to the government, etc.
But, when a private school is directly or indirectly funded by the government, it must become more like the public schools. Evidence and history bear this out. If this is not a correct statement, what example can be brought forth?
We also experience the camel’s nose under the tent and incrementalism. The overall goal is to grow government control. HB2068 demonstrates this:
– Includes a change from “at risk” to “free or reduced lunch” student eligibility
– Expands the public schools from lowest performing to “any.”
The direction of change is certainly that of expansion.
School choice ≠ education freedom.
School choice = The choice by parents of where/how their child will receive his government education.
Government education seeks to mold citizens into compliant government servants.
The data collection and reporting requirements have propagated the government production of extensive dossiers on every American from cradle to grave.
Jeb Bush, a big supporter of the ever expanding datamining of children and a champion of Common Core standards, is also …. one of the biggest and key promoters of … wait for it … School Choice! The SAME people financing and pushing Common Core, assessments, and technology to transform public education, SUPPORT School Choice.
“My personal belief is there is no one single thing that needs to get done,” said [Jeb] Bush …. What it will require, he said, is a combination of school choice (vouchers), CC standards, rigorous assessments, consequences for anything less than excellence, and using technology to transform education ….. [Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, pg 7]
What happens with public education? Is it eventually totally eliminated? What replaces it?
The Blaine Amendments?
Title I portability?
Direct Student Services?
Non-government regulated private education?
There is so much more to understand about this heavily propagandized false illusion of freedom called “school choice.” It’s not actual freedom.
Tax-supported school choice proposals affecting public, private, religious, and home school education are the vehicle to change not only the right of Americans to choose what kind of education they wish for their children, but may also result in changing our representative form of government to an “unelected council form of government” due to one form of school choice, charter schools, run by “unelected councils. http://newswithviews.com/iserbyt/iserbyt115.htm