Category Archives: Parental Choice Education Plan

Parental Choice in Education Plan in NYS – Not Ready for Prime Time (and Bill de Blasio)

Wow! Andrew Cuomo! What’s up with our governor? He has a bee in his bonnet about privatizing schools, although there is no proof that getting rid of public schools will help anyone or anything except the state and local governments and their budgets. If the various levels of government did not have to pay for public schools just think of what could be done, how many pockets could be lined?

Are we quite ready to give up public education which has been a cornerstone of America for several hundred years? Are we that angry at the unions? If schools are privatized we certainly won’t have teachers’ unions any more. Jobs in education will at held at the whim of the private management company that runs the “for profit” school. I would not expect any job security or benefits to arise from such a situation.

How will private schools compete with schools in other nations? There will no longer be an umbrella of standards to guide American schools, I assume. Each “company” will put forth its own plan. We won’t be sure how a company’s model will function until after the fact which could be a disservice to students who attend a badly managed school. There will be competition for students which could be a good thing, but could involve lots of false claims and promises. Why do we always assume that public = bad and private = good?

Second, I see no way this plan would benefit the poor. Tax breaks as incentives are a middle class enticement. The poor are not able to pay up front and then wait to reap the reward at tax time. This plan is obviously a plan that will maintain and expand the separation between social classes in America.

Governor Cuomo is trying to move too fast. He is skipping the planning that is necessary to form a good public/private partnership that will be a benefit to students. He has not paid his dues in research, groundwork and preparations that would allow his plans to succeed. Perhaps he was upset that he didn’t win his last battle with teachers and is acting out a few anger management issues of his own.

This law needs a lot of work before it is ready for a vote.

  • It needs oversight procedures.
  • It needs standards.
  • It needs a formula so public schools can plan how much state money they will have.
  • It needs a structure besides tax breaks to overcome the class privilege built into the law in its current form.

Until the groundwork and planning are done and are done in a manner educators find acceptable we need to vote “no” on this Parental Choice in Education Plan or Education Tax Credit Plan or any other name that appears on a ballot. This plan will destabilize the entire education system of New York State and it will not level the educational playing field one bit. Andrew Cuomo seems a bit power mad lately.

Our governor is even playing “Father Knows Best” with Mayor de Blasio in New York City. How can we see if Progressive approaches to city management will work if we allow our governor to put the kibosh on all Bill de Blasio’s plans for better schools and plans for keeping housing affordable enough to allow a few poorer New Yorkers to continue to live in their hometown. He would also like to relax the very stringent policing which has resulted in sending too many minorities to jails. Concentrate on all the schemers and corrupt politics, Governor Cuomo, and give Mayor de Blasio some room to do some the things he was elected to do.

I like a strong governor but not being governed by a one-man band that makes decisions without consultation or advance planning. What good will accrue if we get a strong leader at the cost of our democratic process?

By Nancy Brisson