Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Nevada let's parents reform education on their own with taxpayer money, because parents know what's best, right?

Thank you Nevada! Now we'll get to see what happens with a totally voucherized educational system where parents can devise any kind of reform they want, on their own. What a way to spend taxpayer dollars. And I thought Netflix's Daredevil and Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle was fun to watch:
The new school choice law in Nevada giving parents near-total control over the way state education dollars are spent on their children was heralded as "groundbreaking" and "historic" when the governor signed it in June … with hundreds of applications pouring in, state officials are encountering challenges as they try to put the law into practice without any roadmap.
Yup, no roadmap, no real plan. So what could go wrong when you leave educational reform up to…parents?
Parents can use their ESA money to pay tuition at any private school, including those that are religiously affiliated, or buy materials for home schooling. A parent could even use the money to mix and match courses and services from private and public sources to create a customized education for their child … They predict a sizable chunk of ESA applicants will opt to use their money to home school
Ye-ha, that sounds like money spent well. Republicans and private schools are already openly offering ways for people to get around the law:
To qualify for the program, students must have attended a public school for 100 consecutive days before applying for an ESA … Officials in the treasurer's office have been trying to find a work-around so students can become eligible without completely dropping out of their private school and enrolling in a public school.
Gaming the system is easy:
The treasurer's office has since tweaked some rules to allow students to take a single class at a district or charter school while remaining in private school or home school to meet the 100-day eligibility requirement.  

Got some extra time between your job and family, why not try managing your multiple ESA accounts for multiple kids. You can fit that in somewhere between shopping for health insurance, dealing with family illnesses and accidents, shopping for car-homeowners-life insurance, grocery shopping, staying on top of the kids homework, home disasters and improvements...etc. Who's got time to call your representative: 
Most families that sign up for ESAs will get 90 percent of the state money allocated to each child, about $5,000 per student, while low-income students and students with disabilities will get 100 percent, or around $5,700 … some students with expensive needs and possibly deter some poor students and students with disabilities from participating, said Rau of Nevada Succeeds.
Oh, after just a few months in existence, the voucher program is already under funding private schools, effecting the poor and disabled. Don't worry, corporate schools will ask for more of your money:

And despite a survey from the Friedman Foundation that found $5,700 would cover 80 percent of tuition at half of the state's private elementary schools, there's lingering skepticism that ESAs will really put private education within the reach of poor families.

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