Enough Already!

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With the new government "public" school year starting
soon I took a look at what the legislature and the voters had wrought
in the name of government schools in California. The tab is $63
billion in school and school bond payments plus another $300 million
for the California Department of Education.

Every dollar dissipated on government schools with today's public
education fixated on how to pass mandated state and federal tests
is a dollar down the drain. A rigorous new approach is required
which I attempt to address.

Look up the figures for your state’s schools, school budget and
school bond payments. Replace the California name and figures with
your states figures and fire copies to your local newspapers, forums
and blog sites. Most importantly copy your state legislators and
governor.

The figure for your state’s school budget will not be as high as
California’s school budget. Based on a proposition passed by the
voters ( DO’H ) schools are to get funds equal to 1/2 the state
budget. It will be doubtful your states school budget will represent
such a high total of all the states’ combined budgets.

Strongly encourage the shut-down of your state’s department of
education and all the government "public" schools. Throw
in a good word or two for the shut-down of the US Department of
Education. Advocate home and virtual schooling for education of
children and sending children out into the world to get a real learning.

Our Schools: Freedom from the 9,300

Today, California's 9,300 government schools, funded by $63 billion
in taxes, have 6.3 million K-12 students with 300,000 teachers and
25,000 bureaucrats and support personnel. Additionally, there are
4,000 school psychologists and 1,000 school librarians. The California
Department of Education has 2,500 employees and a $300 million budget.

The $63 billion in taxes funding California schools represents
12% of the total combined state budgets (not school budgets) for
all the other 49 states.

By comparison, in California 600,000 students attend private or
home schools without public tax support. However, these students’
parents still pay property taxes to support other parents’ children
attending government schools.

California's schools operate under "education by politician"
dictates and are managed by bureaucratic red-tape-ridden administrative
"educrats." Another dictate overlying California's public
schools comes from the U.S. Department of Education's "No Child
Left Behind" minimum test score standards.

There's an urgent need to dismantle California's top-down authoritarian
socialistic central-planning school system, which is irreparably
harming our children's education. Why?

For starters, the hundreds of billions in tax dollars taken over
decades for California schools have created a Frankenstein's monster.
Schools are bits of this and that sewn together by mad scientist
politicians, educrats, and school boards. This mash-up has wrecked
havoc on children's education and effectively barred parents' voices
from being heard.

In addition, fears of violence in the schools have parents praying
that their child's school doesn't become another Columbine or Virginia
Tech University. As it is, California's school system has armed
police officers patrolling middle and high schools.

Third, parents are worried about teacher morals. The news reports
on teachers being arrested and convicted for child molestation and
sexual relations with students. Yet suing to remove a tenured teacher
for misconduct can cost school districts $100,000 in legal fees.

Fourth, compulsory school attendance imposes one-size-fits-all
lowest common denominator learning. Religious children find their
religion mocked or themselves being denigrated. Special-education
children don't receive professional help in learning how to learn.
Gifted children are rarely aided in learning how to use their innate
intelligence or even being properly identified as gifted. Minority
children barely receive the necessary basic language, reading, and
writing skills needed to function in an English-language world.

No group of parents has successfully sued a school system for malpractice – even
though malpractice happens every school day.

The severe disconnect in promises and what's delivered by California
schools can never be overcome. That's why 21st-century Californians
should immediately adopt an approach based on free-market competition.
What would this approach entail?

First, shut down California's noncompetitive government schools.
To create capital for free-market competitive schools, repeal the
tax laws taking $63 billion for government schools. Then allow free-market
schools to be opened without the mandated administrative bureaucracy
and "education by politician" syllabuses.

Second, update education in California by creating virtual schools,
where the education is taught on-line by experienced tutors. Have
web-based live video and audio feedback educational programs.

Third, open local neighborhood small-by-design schools where parents
and teachers can consult on the educational material and the teaching
standards.

Fourth, emphasize home schooling by parents, as parents are the
best teachers for learning about religion, sexuality, and morality.
Disengaged teachers teaching politically dictated lessons on family
issues is an arrogant abrogation of parents' rights by California
schools.

Fifth, give tax credits for:

  • Opening free-market schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
  • People pooling their money to provide an education for students
    of poor families.
  • Industrial and business groups pooling their money to help learning
    disabled, gifted, and minority students receive help from properly
    trained professionals.
  • The income earned by free-market school teachers as an attraction
    to teaching.

Free-market competition in education will offer a wide-ranging
choice of low-cost, high-quality teaching in a variety of disciplines
with affordable to free tuition based on needs.

California's children and their education is our most precious
resource. Children must be protected from the corrosive impact of
California's government schools' top-down socialistic politically
dictated education. Democratic free-market schools based on liberty,
free-thinking, and independence are the wave for California's continued
and future growth.

August
29, 2007

Ron
Getty [send him mail]
is the senior staff member of a tax attorney with his practice located
in San Francisco. He is a Chu Lai I Corp Vietnam Veteran. A recipient
of the Lights of Liberty award for dozens of Letters-to-the Editor
published under his name as Chair of the Initiatives Committee —
Libertarian Party of San Francisco in various Bay Area newspapers.
Several of his op-eds espousing the Libertarian message have been
published in various mainstream media in California.

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