Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Inevitable Voucher Cheat

Disclaimer: The following post does not describe the majority of home school parents.  I am highlighting a small sub-set of home schooling parents.

Time for some real talk from a former high school administrator.  I had a driving philosophy when I was a campus administrator, “Get Them In School.  Get Them In Class. Get Them In College.”

Which meant that my personal rubric for success began with making sure my student attended school.  So my staff and I were relentless in enforcing attendance requirements.  Immediate phone calls, home visits, court filings, and anything else we could think to do to get Little Johnny into the building more often. In this pursuit, there was a small group of parents that did not appreciate our efforts.  And frankly, these were the students that we knew needed the structure of school and the benefit of an education more than their peers.  These parents didn’t like me and honestly, if they did, I wouldn’t have been doing my job. 

Everything was fine until someone (not us) advised one of these parents that if she withdrew her child and claimed it was because she was going to home school him, she would our be rid of our focused attention and she wouldn’t be fined for truancy.  She did this and within two-weeks, a number of other “home schooling” parents followed suit.  And this shortsighted advice was correct; the school’s hands were tied.  The fact that these children were now state sanctioned drops-out mattered not at all.

Let me be clear, these were not good parents.  Sacrificing the well being of their children to benefit themselves.  And these parents still are out there.  Ask your local High School administrator, and he/she can identify them by name.

Now take this same group of parents and give them a check, not of their money, but our money to subsidize their bad parenting and I can promise you that the number of students harmed by a voucher program will far exceed the number of those “saved.”  

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