Friday, February 19, 2016

Republicans admit, taxpayers pay more to subsidize separate private for-profit school system.

For years local taxpayers have been paying extra for voucher schools, a parallel and separate school system, so other families could send their kids to them. Why isn't anyone getting pissed?

These glorified voucher Sunday schools take money from public schools, which then have to raises taxes via referendums to make up for the losses (besides state funding cuts). 

The "fellows" at the MacIver Institute have been denying it:
Taxpayer advocates assert that if a child leaves the public school district, the district no longer incurs an expense to educate the child, so the district shouldn't need to raise property taxes at all to make up for the lost state school aid.
Huh? The teacher, the classroom, the school, even transportation, all must get smaller and less expensive too, right? 

Rep. Jeremy Theisfeldt put it this way:
“…makes it an easy target to turn the choice program into the boogeyman and place all the blame there.”
Oops, Republicans today accidentally let it slip:
Under language in the 2015-17 state budget, those districts can compensate for those losses and more by raising property taxes. According to state fiscal analysts, 142 districts that lost $16.1 million in aid this school year raised their taxes to generate $21.4 million. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos proposed amending another voucher school bill to limit those property tax increases to the actual aid loss.
Not surprising, the major lobbyist behind this lunacy cluelessly chimed in, unaware the big secret was out:
Jim Bender, president of School Choice Wisconsin: "Unfortunately, some districts blamed school choice for property tax increases while simultaneously keeping the extra cash."
Yes, taxpayers are now paying for two school systems, and may not even know it.

Profit? Skimming?: And when schools look ahead and ask for a little more money to work with, just in case things do end up costing more or the state slashes funding, they can absorb it. To Republicans, that's called "skimming. Rep. Jeremy Theisfeldt called it "profiting." If that's what it is, he might have an issue with for profit private schools:
"The districts levied beyond the costs of the WPCP, profiting from students that are no longer enrolled, or never were enrolled in district schools."
The Republicans obsession to privatize, to turn a profit from the untapped commodity we call "kids," created this mess and parallel school system. 

1 comment:

Richard Whaley said...

First, the voters of Wisconsin are responsible for the mess the Republicans are making of public education. Hats off to all of you who voted for Walker, you're getting just the kind of state you want. Ignorant, no good jobs, and best of all, no future. Your kids and grand kids will, no doubt, thank you for destroying their lives and driving them into low-end, low-paying jobs. These are the results of how you voted. Enjoy! (And oh yeah, your property taxes are going to go up so we can fund private Christian schools in violation of the Constitution's First Amendment. Thereby denying all of us of our right to avoid funding religious institutions with tax dollars.)

Second, bought politicians have set in motion the transformation of Wisconsin into a cold version of places like Louisiana. Unlike most crooks, however, the governing Republicans do their dirty work right out in public for all of us to see. Sooner or latter there will be a political price to pay for them. But think of the decades it will take to make the state a decent place to once more live and work. Then those of you who supported Walker can ask yourselves, "Was it worth destroying the quality of life, our public schools, our roads, and our future for him?"

In politics as in nature there are no rewards or punishments. Only consequences.

Richard Whaley