Rick Santorum Wants Public Schools to Die

Unless they’re paying for his kids’ education, that is

Yet another study has come out proving that online “virtual” schools run by private management companies are lousy at educating students. While enrollment in these schools continues to grow by leaps and bounds—up 43 percent in 2010-’11 over 2009-’10—only 27 percent of their 100,000-plus students showed “adequate yearly progress,” the No Child Left Behind Act’s federal standard, as opposed to 52 percent of kids at traditional brick-and-mortar schools. “That’s a pretty large gap,” Gary Miron, the co-author of the study, told the New York Times.

So who cares if there are idiots who want to have their kids educated by shoddy, substandard online schools? As we’ve said here before, you should—because public tax dollars pay for enrollment in those schools. And those public tax dollars are subtracted from the money that funds the better-performing brick-and mortars. So who, exactly, is in favor of the for-profit online charters? Well, first off, there are the big companies that run them—which is interesting, since the bigger the company that runs such a school, the worse that school performs. (The biggest of the big, K12 Inc., is educating 65,000 students this year.) Here’s what the Washington Post has to say about virtual-school funding:

“Although often embraced by policymakers as less expensive than brick-and-mortar schools, virtual schools often receive the same per-pupil funding from governments despite having a much higher student-to-teacher ratio and no costs for transportation or classrooms.”

Depending on where a student lives, his or her school district will pay wildly divergent fees for the exact same online curriculum—in Pennsylvania, K12’s Agora Charter School is reimbursed anywhere from $6,000 to $16,000 per pupil. Ch-ching! Profit margin! If K12 was a traditional school district, it would rank among the 30 biggest in the nation. And it’s failing our kids.

A politician who honestly cared about children and education and the future of our nation surely would stand up to the big lobbyists these for-profit schools have hired, refuse their money, and speak out against their proven inefficacy, right? Oh, hey, Rick Santorum! Mr. Family Values Man! Wait, wait; I forgot—when you were in Congress, you had your kids cyber-schooled by the cash-strapped Pennsylvania school district in which you owned a house where you no longer lived! You stuck it to the Penn Hills taxpayers for more than $100,000! The school district fought to make you repay the money, but you never did!

Rick Santorum does not like public education! He said so in New Hampshire: “Just call them what they are. Public schools? That’s a nice way of putting it. These are government-run schools.” Rick Santorum says, “I would support anything that gets the money in who should be in control—or who should be the object—of the education system in this country.” I’m guessing you mean for-profit education companies, who must be salivating at the prospect you might become president. You surely can’t mean the sort or parent who, while “serving” in the government, would take money he didn’t deserve to educate his raft of kids.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1720491266 Matthias

    A German Preacher’s Thoughts on American Christians and Politics