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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Some People Will Use Anything as an Argument for Vouchers

Priority 7, ACS, OST, alphabet and number soup. Once again the Brooklyn frum community is campaigning to have funding restored to child care programs that are heavily used by the Brooklyn frum community.

Yet in the fight to restore this welfare program, VIN readers of this Press Release and this Press Releases, readers who are fighting for restored welfare funding make the case for private school vouchers!

Here are two gems:

If you realy want to save money and get a better education, just give 1/3 of the money used for public schools as a voucher directly to the parents to use for school. Each public school child cost about $15,000 per year! Our budget problems would be solved!


--AND--


I haven't seen any comments putting this issue into the following perspective:

Religious families are denied equal access to public funding. Why are we being denied a free and appropriate education?

We have no choice but the foot the bill and pay school taxes and then tuitions for all our wonderful children (which we should never be criticized for having!).

Our children become productive citizens and assets to society!

Why are we being inhibited from
our right to give our children a religious education?!

This is unconstitutional--and we should be fighting with this cause!

This is assistance we as a community deserve and have earned!

Please contact me to promote this cause.


Earth to the commentators! You are beneficiaries of private (yeshiva) education. Government dependency among such beneficiaries is ridiculously high. This is not a convincing argument for school vouchers! If anything, it is an argument against private education. But I guess when you are fighting the good fight, anything can and will be used as an argument for vouchers. . . even the threat of cuts to welfare programs. Goodness gracious. There are no words for such ridiculousness.

17 comments:

Mr. Cohen said...

Midrash Tanchuma, Parshat Tsav, chapter 14:
A Jew merits the afterlife of the righteous [HaOlam HaBa] because of the money he spends to teach his children Torah.

מדרש תנחומא צו פרק יד
והנותן ממונו ללמד תורה לבנו כי בשביל הממון שהוא נותן ללמוד זוכה לחיי העולם הבא

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Aharon said...

Finally after years I have to disagree with a post. "Government dependency among such beneficiaries is ridiculously high" may be true -- but it might not be _disproportionately_ high. We also generally don't end up in jail or with single parent issues, drug abuse, etc. Generally.

It is hard to shake the notion that as long as someone is paying property taxes that are then used to fund the secular educational system, there ought to be funds available to all schools for secular studies.

Chaim said...

I agree Aharon, but I believe that because I drive the money that goes to Public Transportation should be used to pay my car lease.

I rent, so I believe the mortgage interest I am paying via my landlord should be deductible.

I don't leave the so my share of Customs should pay for a nice vacation.

Miami Al said...

Aharon said,

"We also generally don't end up in jail or with single parent issues, drug abuse, etc. Generally."

Such lofty standards you set.

AztecQueen2000 said...

A little reality check is in order. State funding (in the form of vouchers or what-have-you) usually comes with state strings attached. For example, the state could declare that only schools which limit their hiring pool to licensed teachers and follow state protocols (including wroker's comp, prevailing wages for faculty paid on time, EEOC protection, etc.), and teach a state-approved curriculum for a minimum number of hours using state-supplied materials are eligible for any funds from school vouchers. In effect, this would disqualify alomst every yeshiva in Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

I just saw a yeshiva's ad for teachers today, touting "excellent, on-time pay.". What a chidush - on-time pay!

AMRILUSAGUY said...

Vouchers are an argument that has been around for a long time. As long as the WASPs who send their progeny to exclusive prep schools dont get them then I dont think anyone else will either.

But that isnt the real issue. the real issue is one of unity and effectiveness.

I think I read it here most recently, I dont remember really, there is no private school no matter how large or how successful that can survive on tuition alone. they do incredible amounts of fund raising whether they be denominational or not. Jewish schools do fund raising along with the literal PLETHORA of other Jewish institutions. There are simply too many institutions that require so much of their budgets to come from donations.

It is time to say enough! We dont need this kind of hatzola and that kind of hatzola and this yeshiva and that yeshiva. If there were true unity and true consolidation there would be true economies of scale and less pressure on an already overburdened donations budget.

Just my 2 cents - for whatever it is really worth

Miami Al said...

We need to stop raising money to help the poor, the widow, and the orphans. We need to stop raising money to save lives, lives that are mostly old.

We need to focus on our Torah Commandments:

Honor Thy Children with a fancy Yeshiva
Honor Thy Scholar so that they need not ever work

This was Sarcastic. Has anyone else here ever read the Torah that they dance around on Simchat Torah?

Aharon said...

Aztec, I don't mind having strings attached. Why don't we try it and see how it goes. Let the teachers be certified and get paid. I'm sure the choshuve rebbeim in brooklyn can figure out how to achieve certification. If not, hire secular teachers for a year. Many yeshivos already use state-supplied textbooks, etc., and the state standards are ridiculously low, so meeting them is not a problem. If it gets bad then we can go back and start a non-voucher totally private yeshiva.

Amril, yes, schools need to fundraise, but that's not germane to the voucher question. I think that vouchers would help financially, but I know there has been a lot of discussion on this point, so someone could maybe point us to a place where the discussion was more l'meisa.

As for fundraising, neither the schools nor the parents are taking enough responsibility. (One reason that has been pointed out in the past is that there is no financial transparency. But vouchers would end that in a second -- they publish the public school budgets and salary scale for teachers.) And until I see jewish kids going door to door with their parents selling kosher girl scout cookies, I say that there is still opportunity out there.

megapixel said...

"Religious families are denied equal access to public funding. Why are we being denied a free and appropriate education?"

did this guy ever try to enroll his kid in public school and was denied?

(i applied to some frum schools and was denied but thats another story)

is he forgetting that sending your kid to frum school is your choice?

AMRILUSAGUY said...

Aharon
Actually yes it is.
Vouchers are a pipe dream and a crutch especially if the school is not viable.

megapixel said...

if you sometimes wonder why you pay the big bucks for jewish schools, here's a little reminder in todays news.

http://www.5min.com/Video/Middle-School-Surveys-7th-Graders-on-Oral-Sex-517095048?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl3%7Csec1_lnk3%7C216167

Anonymous said...

I didn't read megapixel's link but I object to scare tactics. What about horrors that occur in yeshiva (molestation, corporal punishmentP)?

AztecQueen2000 said...

Ahron, do you REALLY think that a cash-strapped yeshiva that is dependent on community goodwill will replace local morahs (often seminary grads or parents and not always certified) with state-certified teachers who may or may not even be Caucasian? (That is what EEOC means, my friends. It means replacing uncertified frum Jewish teachers with the most qualified candidate regardlesss of race, gender, orientation, religion, etc.) It also means that said teachers must be paid PREVAILING wages ($45,000/a year to start in NYC) on time. It also means that workers comp and unemployment insurance must be up-to-date and cover all employees.
Also, think about what state-controlled curriculum can mean. It can mean requiring a minimum of 900 hours a year spent on secular studies (the current rquirement for NYS homeschoolers). That means no 14-hour schooldays with secular studies amounting to maybe two of those hours.

G*3 said...

> That means no 14-hour schooldays with secular studies amounting to maybe two of those hours.

If secular studies is taught 4 days a week, 35 weeks a year 900 hours is only 6.5 hours a day. A lot more than two, but allowing for meals and davening that still leaves about five hours a day for limudie kodesh for high-school boys.

A bigger problem would be that yeshivas would be required to teach the entire curriculum. My youngest brother took biology last year (in a major Brooklyn yeshiva), and of the four sections in the book, they skipped two: evolution and reproduction. A school getting funding from the state couldn’t get away with skipping half of a course.

aunt of nephew aka female life actuary said...

There are Yeshivas that teach the state curriculum. And it is not ridiculously easy as long as you require them to take the Advanced Regents courses. I teach Algebra 2/Trig and it is a very challenging course. It is much harder than when I took it in 1984. Many of the concepts and problems they are required to do I did in college.

Of course since I don't have state certification, having been an actuary I am not qualified to teach math.

Zach Kessin said...

Religious families are denied equal access to public funding. Why are we being denied a free and appropriate education?

No they are not! You are free to send your kids to public school and have a free public education, if you choose not too do so that is your choice, the state has no obligation to foot the bill.


We have no choice but the foot the bill and pay school taxes and then tuitions for all our wonderful children (which we should never be criticized for having!).

Sure you do. You may not like the choice, but it is there none the less. If you have 6 kids and want to send them to private school it will cost money.

Hey I see nothing wrong with having a bunch of kids, but don't act all shocked when it costs money.

I'm getting a bit tired of all the complaining.