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I'm Sick and Tired
of being Sick and Tired
By Michael Fredrickson

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of General Manager Michael Fredrickson. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Names can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


More money does not improve school performance

...of people saying “if we offer private school vouchers, it will ruin public schools”. The horse is already out of that barn. Public schools cannot be fixed. I’ll say that one more time, public schools cannot and will not EVER be fixed.

The answer and/or problem is not money. Washington D.C. public schools spend about $15,000 per student and Texas spends about $7,000 per student. Do Washington D.C. schools rank higher than Texas? Not even close - unless you count higher drop-out rates, higher pregnancy rates and higher murder rates.

This is their answer to a parent’s option of choosing their child’s education? Parents can’t get a voucher to use in a private school because it will somehow adversely affect public schools????? Oh my God who are they kidding?

I went to public schools. When I attended Alief Elsik High School you had to make a 92 or higher to get an A on a test or in a class. I can’t remember the B and C grade scale, but I think it was close to 84 to 91 for a B. Much to my surprise when I got to college all I had to get was a 90 or higher to earn an A, an 80 for a B, etc. I was really surprised at this turn of events. I found it was that much easier. It did dawn on me even then that the Alief grading system actually was a benefit of my public school education and they changed that.

After graduating college and moving back to this area I happened to find out that in Alief schools all you needed was a 90 for an A. This was about the same time that I was solidifying my core political beliefs. You know, dumbing down education, etc. Why had this changed? Who wanted it changed? Well, that was all I needed to see. At that same time I was hearing about the TAAS test which was suppose to test Texas school children. I can remember taking the IOWA test of basic skills. Can’t the same evaluations of school children be made with the results of the Iowa Test. Why did we need ANOTHER test?

Now, as far as school vouchers, I don’t really support that notion either. You know state and federal governments will attach strings to those vouchers. Our best alternative is a tax refund/deduction for private school tuition.

Millions of Americans take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction every year with little or no problem whatsoever. Parents could deduct school tuition from taxes owed (federal income, local property, etc.) and be entitled to a refund if deductions exceed taxes paid.

I suppose home schooled kids could get some kind of tax deduction for cost of curriculum. Since they are schooled at home, obviously there are very little expenses associated with this option and I assume most parents home school to avoid private school tuition and fees. These parents may even choose to send their kids to private and/or parochial schools with the new tax deduction (but they’ll still have to get their vaccinations).

Millions of parents from all walks of life will continue to use public schools. They will not disappear. The “worst kids” will not be the only kids still attending public schools. But, what difference would that make, they are there today anyway so what would change? Maybe this would lighten their load, ease overcrowding, etc.

Today, the government takes money from every resident in a school district to pay for educating our youth. Why don’t private schools get a share of that money? Aren’t they providing an education just like public schools?


Contact michael@fortbendstar.com, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:January 30, 2009