By the time an undocumented [sic!] child makes it from first grade to graduating high school, taxpayers have already sunk over $100,000 into that child’s education. To pull the plug on those children because of the actions of their parents would be unfair, and would nullify the investment taxpayers have already made in the kid. …Steyn:
So while they’re here, our state would be better off giving these kids the chance to make our country better, rather than sentencing them to a second-class existence.
Good grief. First, the fact that 12 years of American education costs over a hundred grand ought to be an outrage, not an initial down-payment: We spend more per pupil than any advanced nation other than Luxembourg, and at least the Luxembourgers have something to show for it.Right. Choice has nothing to do with it. Husband and I educate (on a good day) our kids at home. We pay for all the books and the teacher donates her time. With no principals, vice principals, teaching assistants, clerical workers, curriculum experts, guidance counselors, psychologists, nurses, reading specialists, disciplinarians, security guards, hall monitors, lunch ladies, or janitors (if only!) to siphon off our money, it's pretty affordable. But, of course, we pay a lot more for our county schools (which we neither use nor support in principle) through our property taxes, payment of which is definitely not optional.
Second, the idea that government spending is an “investment” as opposed to prudent budgeting for necessary responsibilities is a classic all-purpose leftist euphemism for statism without end that no conservative should have any truck with: Why, to end our “investment” in “these kids” after a mere 12 years is to “sentence” people to a “second-class existence”! (And incidentally, how many taxpayers willingly chose this particular investment for their portfolio?)
Regular readers are familiar with my anti-government school rants. Home education, among its many other virtues, is exponentially cheaper and more effective than state schools.
Sometimes it's fun to fantasize about the field trips our family might have taken with our seven students, given a mere $10K per child (some districts spend a lot more) every year from grade 1 through 12. Our memorization of all the US capitals might have included a visit to each one. Okay, maybe the kids wouldn't appreciate a grand tour of Lansing, Hartford, or Jackson. How about a little walkabout in the Australian Outback instead of a trip to the zoo? A first-hand look at the pyramids would nicely supplement the study of ancient Egypt. And a modest junket to see the Grand Canyon would make our unit on geology really come alive. My three older girls might have enjoyed a bit of opera in Milan, or at least a season subscription to the Met or the Lyric. Or both! With $840,000K to blow, we could think big.
Anyway, read the rest of Steyn's post. I think it's safe to say that some conservatives have a blind spot when it comes to government schools and the value of the "education" acquired therein. Many graduates from "excellent" school systems, replete with taxpayer dollars and great reputations, can't pass community college placement tests in basic math or English. They then enroll in remedial classes which often don't help them, either. So much for the $100,000K "investment" in that child's "education."
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