Get this. Saw via Stephenville Empire-Tribune:
The proposed program, which Miller said he plans to quickly file as an amendment to Senate Bill 1811, is a voucher program that would allow parents and caregivers to receive funding to transfer their students from public to private schools.
What private schools? Would that be like the
private CHARTER school that Miller's wife owns and operates and he was on the board for? (Erath Excels, in case you're not aware). Miller was accused a couple of years ago of trying to file a bill that would profit his own interests-that was against higher standards for charter schools. Erath Excels at the time had an unacceptable rating; charter schools in Texas don't have to meet the same standards as public schools do. That action with the bill got Miller on the dishonorable mention list at the Texas Monthly magazine. Miller also, while on the Texas Ag committee, arranged for a USDA loan for Erath Excels. Ahem. Lining One's Own Pocket, anyone? Looks like nothing has changed.
What about Miller's position on school vouchers? Miller said in 2008 that he didn't support school vouchers. This was the vote-notice that while school vouchers bill was killed dead, there was an exemption for... charter schools.
UPDATE: MarciT says that the Texas Savings Grant Program explicitly excludes funds from going to charter schools. Looking for the exact reference now to see if that is true. If so, then Miller would only be working generally to gut public education as opposed to helping out his charter school. Another possibility might be that the Millers would be considering opening up another school. Perhaps Mr Miller would like to weigh in?
Seems that now that a few years have passed, Miller is ready to go all in for school vouchers. Here's a link on the Taxpayer Savings Grants program. Note that less money has to go to a public school and a parent can take up to $5,143 bucks to use for some other school. l (see above, where we are looking for an exact reference that would indicate that these funds could NOT be used for a charter school). The case cited in the white paper at this link, Zelman v Simmons-Harris violates the establishment clause.
Why should our tax money go for people to send their kids to private schools? From the FAQ
10. How will Taxpayer Savings Grants affect schools in my area?
It will impact local schools exactly the same as if a student moved out of the district. The school will no longer receive attendance-based funding for that student (ADA funding), but will still have the local infrastructure funding paid for by bonds, which is $215 per student.
This is why I do not vote Republican. Ever. Because Republicans hate public education and want to kill it dead.
P.S. I'm actually not in favor of using public taxpayer money for charter schools, because the standards for charter schools are so much lower than traditional public schools.
How are charter schools different than traditional public schools? Charter schools were designed to be free from many burdensome state regulations so they can experiment and innovate to raise student achievement. Charter schools are not subject to class size requirements, teacher certifi cation requirements (except for special education and bilingual education), teacher employment contracts, collective bargaining, paying teachers off of the state teacher salary schedule, and length of school day requirements.
It's always seemed to me that charter schools are wanna be private schools that want to get money from the taxpayer instead of doing it alone; but if they had a chance and could get public money through vouchers, there'd be no reason to be a charter school! IF it's so that charter schools are considered quasi-public schools, then there's no way that the Savings money could go for them. However, what would there be to stop a charter school from becoming a private school just to start getting public taxpayer money? Does a charter school sign a contract that says they must remain a charter school for X many years unless their ratings are unacceptable 3 years in a row?
P.P.S Texas ranks 43rd (only 7 states worse than us) in how much money we spend per student.
New U.S. Census Bureau data show Texas is the ninth-lowest state for per pupil spending, a number that will drop after state lawmakers finish gutting public school budgets soon.
And IF Republicans that want to take money away from public school budgets get their way.
P.S. Great article. School Vouchers and the Death of Meritocracy- via Jonathan Turley
Educational opportunity should be the great equalizer in our society, it should not be reserved only for those who can afford the costs of private schools. Yet numerous states are using tax payer funds to subsidize the rich who treat their kids to an education at a private school. These states are cutting funding to public education, and using those same funds to provide
vouchers subsides to those who least need them.