Romney: My school plan is ‘revolutionary’

Students should ‘go to the school of their choice’ with funding following the student, said Mitt Romney on NBC’s Education Nation. Romney called his education plan “revolutionary.”

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  1. Ughhhhh. I could vaguely see something like this working if the neighbouring public/private schools can say NO to the transfers. Otherwise, we will see children transferring into successful districts when our own schools are full/overcrowded already.

    I wish the feds would stay out of education entirely, aside from protecting the basic civil rights of students (no closet locking, etc).

    • It burns me up that in my state, the overwhelming majority of the school funding comes from general tax revenues (e.g. income and sales taxes) but students do not have the right to attend any school in their geographic area. I can understand restricting enrollment when schools are funded by local property taxes. But that’s not how funding works in my state. My family’s tax dollars are going to fund all the public schools in my area, so I should have the right to enter a lottery for a slot at any of them I wish.

      • I’m not sure of the exact ratio of funding here, but we pay property taxes to support our school district specifically. (I live just outside Kansas City.) We also have to pay property taxes on our stinkin’ automobiles to support the schools, local hospital district, bla bla and bla. There is always something. 🙂

  2. What clause of the US Constitution gives the President any role in making school policy? Students, parents, real classroom teachers, and taxpayers would gain if States gave to parents the power to determine which institution shall receive the taxpayers’ pre-college education subsidy. We would also gain if Washington politicians respected the Constitution and the federalist principle.

    • The same clause that justifies the ESEA, aka NCLB, the if-you-take-the-money-you-take-the-strings clause.

      • Like Sky says below, the Constitution has been ignored, either partially or totally, for at least a century now… It’s considered little more than a historical document at this point. The REAL government does whatever it wants, to whomever it wants. Need proof? Here’s one example of thousands…

        http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-08-07/aclu-federal-crimes-innocent-prisoners-justice/56860918/1

        “… The request follows a USA TODAY investigation that identified dozens of people who had been imprisoned for something a federal appeals court later determined was not a federal crime. Although Justice Department lawyers have conceded the men are “legally innocent,” the agency has made little effort to notify them and has argued in court to keep them locked up…”

        (This random example is the result of privatizing our prison industry. I believe in letting the free market handle things whenever possible – but the prisons are NOT one of those things!)

  3. Unfortunately, the United States was converted from a democratic republic to a pure democracy / oligarchy in 1913. The US Constitution has been little more than a historical document referenced when convienent since then…

  4. We already have this in Colorado. It’s pretty popular. Except for needing to implement more than one day per year as a “student count day”, it seems to work well. I have several friends escaping their neighborhood schools to go to better public schools in other parts of town. Sure, they’d rather not drive the extra distance, but after trying to improve their children’s education at the local school and failing because of poor administration there, they are grateful to be able to go elsewhere without having to move to a new house. Now, if he’s talking about vouchers for private schools, too, I think that won’t work so well in Colorado because the state constitution says public funds can’t be used to support churches, and vouchers for religious schools can be construed as such support.

    • I oppose vouchers as a matter of policy. But I don’t think they are unconstitutional. For example, college students can take Pell grants to University of Notre Dame, Georgetown, and Boston College… all Catholic universities. When there are a large number of choices, I don’t think vouchers implicate establishment concerns. However, I would be very wary in situations where the choices aren’t really there apart from religious-affiliated schools… eg, the shenanigans Bobby Jindal is trying to pull in Louisiana.

      • Colorado’s constitution goes far beyond just prohibiting the establishment of a state religion–

        Article IX, section 7: Neither the general assembly, nor any county, city, town, township, school district or other public corporation, shall ever make any appropriation, or pay from any public fund or moneys whatever, anything in aid of any church or sectarian society, or for any sectarian purpose, or to help support or sustain any school, academy, seminary, college, university or other literary or scientific institution, controlled by any church or sectarian denomination whatsoever; nor shall any grant or donation of land, money or other personal property, ever be made by the state, or any such public corporation to any church, or for any sectarian purpose.

        I see no way to have vouchers used for religious schools under that section.

        • Or for churches to have access to police, fire, and other public services either.

        • Colorado is one of 37 states with anti-Catholic Blaine amendments in their constitutions.

          • Please elaborate. Not trying to pick a fight here… I honestly have never heard of these!

          • Here ya go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaine_Amendment

            It’s not all that well know now but anti-Catholic bigotry was once quite widespread. One of the core bigotries of the Ku Klux Klan was anti-Catholic sentiment and in the late 1800’s it resulted in the passage of the so-called “Blaine” amendments to a large number of state constitutions.

            Some of the echoes of that anti-Catholic fever showed up as late as John Kennedy’s run for the presidency when the question of how strongly his allegiance to the Catholic church would effect his policies as president was a serious campaign issue.

  5. Richard Aubrey says:

    Allen. I remember that. It was really, really ugly.