There [Utah], teachers unions, whose idea of progress is preservation of the status quo, are waging an expensive and meretricious campaign to overturn the right of parents to choose among competing schools, public and private, for the best education for their children.My idea of progress is when things improve. So if vouchers will not improve our children's education--and a study by a conservative once pro-voucher think tank in Milwaukee shows they don't--then change for the sake of reform is not "progressive."
Will also conveniently forgets that this bill was pushed first by outside groups and is opposed by a solid 60 percent of Utahns--the only state that still gives Bush a positive job rating.
And every Utah voucher increases funds available for public education. Here is how:So many lies in such a short space, that merits an award in rightwing shilling. First, he uses the highest public school spending number from Park City School District ($7,500) while simultaneously using the artificially low and cherry picked "average" private school tuition ($3,000). The real average private school tuition is nearly $8,000 according to the Deseret News. And the real public school spending is lower as well--the US Census places Utah again as the lowest in the nation this year with $5,257.
Utah spends more than $7,500 per public school pupil ($3,000 more than the average private school tuition). The average voucher will be for less than $2,000. So every voucher that is used -- by parents willing to receive $2,000 rather than $7,500 of government support for the education of their child -- will save Utah taxpayers an average of $5,500. And because the vouchers are paid from general revenue, the departed pupil's $7,500 stays in the public school system.
Again, Will "just so happens" to omit the fact that over time, the bill would raid public school money for vouchers, and the problem would get progressively worse. As others has better explained than I, schools have fixed costs that can't easily be reduced when a handful of students leave a private school for a public school.
But wait, there is still more inches to fill in his collumn, so Will manages to squeeze in a few more lies.
Utah's Office of Education reports that the state's private schools -- which are operating one-third below full enrollment -- have a higher percentage of nonwhites than do public schools.Private schools in Utah are not at a third capacity, rather they are nearly full. From the Deseret News:
Of note, many private schools could not accommodate many more students if they wanted to take advantage of vouchers to enroll.I won't even bother with the diatribe against Teachers' Unions, only to say that he doesn't mention the out of state money coming in defense of vouchers from Amway founders etc. Oh and when you are calling someone else's arguments "threadbare," Mr. Will, you might want to make sure yours aren't full of crap themselves.
For example, the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Salt Lake, the largest private school system in the state with 5,407 students in 14 schools, estimates it has capacity to add only 317 more elementary/middle school students and 373 high school students.
Current capacity at its schools ranges from a high of 101 percent (at both the St. John the Baptist elementary and middle schools in Draper) to a low of 68 percent (at St. Olaf school in Bountiful,) according to data provided by the diocese.