Saturday, June 16, 2012

Louisiana vouchers a lesson for Wisconsin and others while Conservative media hides problems from Public.

Louisiana is going all vouchers, all the time. As I’ve blogged earlier, I hope they go gangbuster with their ideologically driven vision.

Republicans suck at running government, that’s why they don’t like it, and that’s why they want to make it smaller. But when they are in charge, you get the following new voucher law, with no set of rules, oversight and accountability in place just yet. 

What a friggin’mess:
The Advocate: Two more nonpublic schools on the state’s list to accept voucher students are under scrutiny … the schools are among 125 statewide in 33 parishes that hope to attract students from troubled public schools under a new state law … The plan will allow up to 5,100 low and middle-income students to qualify for state-funded vouchers to finance tuition and some fee costs at private and parochial schools.
Any rules, standards, safety concerns…anything?
The Lake Charles American Press reported that Eternity lacks an occupational license, which is required to run a nonpublic school and relates to fire safety and health issues. Meanwhile, a veteran teacher in Lake Charles, is complaining to state legislators about BeauVer, including its facility and other issues … BeauVer “seems to have serious issues with the ownership, lawsuits pending and I believe a lot of other issues.”
Again, this is already a state law, so how about those rules, standards….?
State officials are still working on exactly what standards voucher schools will have to meet. But the quality of some of the school sites and other issues have sparked controversy while state officials work to finalize which schools qualify, and how many students they will be eligible to enroll in August.
The Republicans want free market schools, getting government out of the way, and leaving the local news to report and alert parents of any problems:
A news story disclosed that New Living Word School in Ruston stood to collect $2.7 million in state school dollars if all 315 students were approved for vouchers, which the school requested. The current enrollment is 122. Critics questioned whether the school has enough space, and tuition is expected to be $8,500 per student, well over the $6,100 average for participating schools.
Still believe the old line, "parents know what’s best for their kids"? Oh, and good luck contacting private school’s not like they’re elected public servants. I’ve saved the best for last:
Vicky Johnston, a teacher for 18 years, said she started checking on BeauVer Christian Academy independently because her childhood home is about one mile from the site. She said a sign in front misspelled the word scholarship, portable classrooms had recently been moved in, and timber was pushed in piles surrounding the buildings. An official at the school said the head of BeauVer is taking a “sabbatical” and referred a reporter to a second educator, who did not return two telephone calls.
And like the Republican plan to reform health care nationwide, they’ve got ideas but no consensus or urgency to solve the problems their new state law has created.
The criteria that will be used, which was initially on the agenda for Monday’s meeting of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, will be delayed. 

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