There are many things for Colorado teachers to be thankful for in the New Year. The state is the 12th friendliest for teachers, according to TeacherPortal.com. They have gotten a salary increase of 25.7% over past 10 years. They are ranked 12th among all states for starting and average salaries.
Colorodo schools even rank relatively high, 16th for elementary and 15th for high school, and yet, it’s not breaking the bank. The Denver Post calls Colorado “stingy” for only spending $8,167 per pupil, yet, according to federal guidelines, our students are still succeeding. Colorado is below the national average of $9,666 and almost half the amount of NY (ranked 5th in high schools), the top state for per pupil spending. Our student to teacher ratio is 17 to 1.
That ranking of 40th in spending per student proves throwing money at our schools is not the answer. Look at Washington D.C., which is 2nd in spending and 2nd from the bottom in success. As Rush Limbaugh pointed out about the D.C. schools on his radio show on Dec. 15, 2011, “Eighty-seven percent — 87% — failed to meet the No Child Left Behind standards. In reading and writing and math, 87% of the students failed — and we’re not talking about standards that require you to be Mensa, here. Basically all you have to do is know how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich by being able to read “peanut butter” and “jelly” on the various labels.”
This brings us to the question of private vs. public, and the never ending debate of school vouchers. The Democrats will have you believe school vouchers takes money away from the public education system. However, if a student leaves the public system (and takes their tax payer funding with them), doesn’t that mean the school should be able to spend less? They have less students, so why do they need more money?
The Colorado courts have voted down school vouchers, saying they are having to spend money to defend the “best interest of our student.” But is public education really in the “best interest of the students” if students are not learning in that setting?
What’s wrong with freedom of choice? If a charter school, private school, or religious school meets a families needs, shouldn’t they have the choice to send their children there? Shouldn’t “public” money be spent where taxpayers feel it is best spent? If that is an alternative to public schools, which many feel are not serving their children in the best way, shouldn’t the “public” have the option of spending their tax dollars in that area?
It would be amazing if the public tax payers were ever able to push through school vouchers and have a choice. How can the American public possibly fight the power of unions who will fight against allowing choice in education. Isn’t it time to get the government out of education and allow parents to decide what is right for their children?
Let your representatives in Colorado know you’d like a choice. Click on this link for the Colorado Assembly and let them know what you think of public education.
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