Ep. 9 School Privatization: The Not Good, The Bad, The Ugly
In today’s episode, we are talking about school privatization. It’s not good. However they try to serve it up by changing its name, the proposals the divert school funds to privatized schools is a big turd being served on a platter with some flowers to distract everyone from what it truly is.
Why are public schools so important to communities? Let us count the ways…
- Cost: The public school cost CANNOT be beat.
- Equality: Public schools provide access to an education for EVERY child in a community. The Huffington Post notes that by law, public schools cannot turn students away based on academic performance, income level or disability. Give those funds to private schools- that does not go with them.
- Diversity. Since public schools cannot discriminate, children end up in school with peers that are not like them. Learning about the different cultures, struggles of income diversity, and special needs is AS essential to the growth of a person as the school curriculum.
- Smaller Class Size: According to the website for New York Schools, funding for schools is often dependent on the number of students in a school, with consideration for smaller, more manageable classroom sizes.
- Public schools offer more academic opportunities like advanced classes and courses in specialized subjects like technology and the arts, according to Education Bug. Options might include gifted and talented programs, International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement classes.
- Extracurricular Activities: free or minimal cost after school programs are a key integration to public schools.
- Services: By law, public schools are also required to provide certain services to students: transportation to and from school, reduced-price lunches and academic assistance- to students who qualify… Because the services are required, public schools have a staff of special education teachers and learning specialists at the parents’ and students’ disposal.
- Teachers are TOPS! According to PublicSchools.org, teachers in public schools are required to be certified by the state; also requiring ongoing education and periodic renewal of credentials. Charter schools and private schools do not have this requirement, which means parents don’t always know the level of training attained by the teacher in their child’s classroom.
- Accountability: Public school answer to the public. Period. This prevents abuse and mis- management of failing schools much more quickly than if the school did not have such accountability.
- Results: Private schools can skim off the already motivated families that have few barriers to education. It is infinitely harder to serve an education to a child who is in poverty and cannot think past their next meal or when they go home. If you take similar students demographically, public schools do AMAZING to serve all students equally. “Failing public schools” are a dog whistle that should be alarming everyone that it is a societal problem of the children’s home life.
Don’t take it from us, listen to two women who are on the frontlines of the fight and know all to well that this is a battle worth fighting. Colleen has a compelling chat with Arizona History teacher, education activist and Vice President of her local teacher’s union, Liz Bruggeman Yeager. She also talks with Laura Fisher, art teacher, parent and activist against Nebraska school privatization. Laura has also lived through the privatization of schools in Kansas and California. They offer SO much insight into all the tentacles to this school privatization that most simply do not realize.
Listen up and learn about how these privatization proposals will damage our beloved public schools and further the learning gap between the “haves” and the “have nots”