Dreyfuss Testimonial

Richard Dreyfus talks about what the loss of schools and teachers who bring knowledge of our history to our future voting citizens means for our nation.

 

Charter Schools – Just Another Form of Private Public Partnerships

VIEW:  The UK’s PPPs Disaster:  Lessons on Private Finance for the Rest of the World
VIEW:  The Jubilee Debt Campaign
VIEW:  Why Private Public Partnerships Don’t Work:  The Many Advantages of the Public Alternative

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Interactive View of Debt Across the Planet

In essence, the practice of implementing charter schools, or other forms of privatized eduction, is just another form of private-public partnership.  Public tax dollars are used to fund private ‘for-profit’ business.  My question is, “Where are our public dividends?”

The Jubilee Debt Campaign (Inspired by the ancient concept of ‘jubilee’)  is a “campaign for a world where debt is no longer used as a form of power by which the rich exploit the poor. Freedom from debt slavery is a necessary step towards a world in which our common resources are used to realize equality, justice and human dignity.”

The Jubilee Debt Campaign recently published a new report identifying the major problems and risks the United Kingdom has encountered through its expensive experiment with Pulic-Private Partnerships (PPP). The briefing warns that risks and costs involved in PPPs include: increased costs for the public budget, large profits for private companies at the public’s expense, declines in service standards, an eroded democratic accountability amongst many others – all of which we are currently experiencing in the United States.

Extracting large profits at public expense has led to increased debt in the United States at all levels of government. 

Accumulating debt as a means of balancing the budget is unacceptable.  In 2015,  Lake County paid approximately $405M in expenses, collected $444M in revenue, and carried $247M in debt.  The state of Illinois spent $75B on what should have been a $71B budget addressing $141B of debt. Our Federal government spent $4.3T while producing only $3.7T in revenue and making payments on $18.3T of debt. Education received 27% of State funding and merely 2% of Federal funding.

The College of Lake County‘s total outstanding debt increased from $17M in 2007 to $71M in 2016, an increase of $54M.   In March of 2015, CLC began construction on a new $28.3M Science & Engineering Building.  It was the first in a series of major upgrades taking place throughout CLC’s various campuses, totaling $163M

Even mor infuriating is the disparity of wealth in America. An article in Reuters asserts, the “Richest 1 percent will own more than the rest by 2016.”  Education is one of the most powerful tools we have to improve our quality of life, yet it is currently in jeopardy due to mismanagement of public finances.  This is a moral imperative that must be addressed, now.

Banks, corporations, and millionaires/billionaires seem to be making out quite nicely at public expense, primarily that of the bottom 95%.  Therefore, 95% of our population shouldn’t find too much to disagree on when it comes to politics.  We should have no problem voting ourselves into the top 95%!

VIEW:  The Increasingly Unequal States of America:  Income Inequality by State, 1917 to 2012

Latest Share of World Wealth Owned by Top 10%:  U.S. 74%
Latest wealth data: U.S. 2010
Source:  Paris School of Economics – The World Top Incomes Database, Credit Suisse – Global Wealth Datebook 2013, J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Data are as of 11/25/13

Latest income data: U.S. 2012. Income excludes capital gains.
Average family income, excluding capital gains, adjusted for inflation (2012):

Bottom 90%: $30,439 (down -10.7% from 2002)
Top 5-10%: $130,990 (up 2.6% from 2002)
Top 1-5%: $216,947 (up 6.1% from 2002)
Top 0.5-1%: $441,423 (up 11.3% from 2002)
Top 0.1-0.5%: $837,377 (up 18.2% from 2002)
Top 0.01-0.1%: $2,782,303 (up 29.5% from 2002)
Top 0.01%: $21,569,156 (up 76.2% from 2002)

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Betsy DeVos Confirmation Hearing

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“Our nation deserves a Secretary of Education who is a champion of kids, parents, state and local control and outcomes, and a champion of public education.” We deserve significantly better than Betsy DeVos.

 

 

 

School choice advocate Betsy DeVos says a one size-fits-all model of learning doesn’t work and that she would promote charter, magnet, religious and other alternatives to public schools, if confirmed education secretary.

Source:  Betsy DeVos confirmation hearing

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (CTBA), a bi-partisan, nonprofit research and advocacy think tank based in Chicago, released the results of its study into Indiana’s school choice (voucher) program.

The study’s key findings include:

  • None of the independent studies perform found any statistical evidence that children who used vouchers performed better than children in public schools.
  • Students who attend traditional K12 public schools outperform students who attend charter schools or private religious schools.
  •  Indiana’s voucher program may actually diminish student achievement in the state over time because it diverts public taxpayer dollars away from the state’s public education systems.
  • Nations that have been most successful in improving student achievement over time have a) focused on systems-based reforms that build capacity of the overall education system and b) [avoided] reforms based on competition and choice.
  • Because the Indiana Choice legislation prohibits the state from regulating curriculum content at private schools that accept vouchers, public taxpayer money is being spent on education of uncertain quality.
  • Because white children as a percentage of voucher recipients in the 2014- 2015 school year exceed the next largest racial group by more than 44 percentage points, Indiana’s voucher program will likely lead to increased racial stratification within Indiana’s K-12 public schools.
  • The school expenditure deduction will cause local governments across Indiana to lose up to $1.4 million annually in Local Option Income Tax revenue.

While the notion of school choice is nothing new—Adam Smith discussed it in his seminal text The Wealth of Nations—when the data on the correlation between school choice programs and student achievement are examined, they consistently point to the same conclusion: there is little to no evidence that voucher programs enhance student achievement.

This research and analysis was done to answer the simple question posed at the outset of this report:

Will the Indiana Choice Legislation lead to better educational outcomes for my and/or my neighbors’ children, and be an efficient use of our taxpayer dollars, at a time when public budgets are stretched as thin as they currently are?

As it turns out, the answer is NO!
(emphasis added)