The Americans for Prosperity of the Koch Brothers held their little school choice event last night in Billings, and while it seemed to receive deservedly little press attention, I was struck by this quote from Greg Gianforte in KULR8’s coverage:
"School Choice will improve our public schools. It increases funding, per child, in those public schools, and it gives options to parents where the existing system doesn’t fit their child, and we can do this here in Montana."
Now, I’m not a home school math student, but taking money from the public schools to pay for unsupervised home schools, unaccountable, for-profit private schools, and unproven charter schools might offer choice, but it certainly won’t increase funding for public schools, as those schools are funded on a formula that’s largely dependent on student enrollment.
In addition to wholly unbelievable claims about the educational benefits of school choice, one of the real dangers of the movement is that it will take students from public schools, reducing the efficiency and number of programs those schools can offer.
And that’s before we get into the issue of religious instruction in schools. Over 80% of private school students attend religious schools. Will the school choice advocates unconstitutionally allow the state to decide which religions are worthy of state funding or can we expect to see schools of Santeria receiving state funds?
On a related note, one of the sites that did notice the school choice event aptly demonstrated the danger of home school spelling instruction.
I’m not sure why the former right wing for the Buffalo Sabres is so angry, but he should probably get spell check before going after my freedom.