SC

Lazenby: About That School Choice Story

Earlier this week I wrote an opinion piece for this website asking lawmakers to address the immediate concerns of parents whose children are enrolled in a flawed public education system in South Carolina by passing some form of school choice legislation. I won’t re-hash that piece here because you can read…

Earlier this week I wrote an opinion piece for this website asking lawmakers to address the immediate concerns of parents whose children are enrolled in a flawed public education system in South Carolina by passing some form of school choice legislation.

I won’t re-hash that piece here because you can read if for yourself, but I would like to take this opportunity to address some of the comments and questions I received from parents, educators and administrators in the wake of this column. I’d also like to clear up what seems to be some confusion about my premise. Since this piece ran, I have received a lot of questions, both publicly and privately, because I am politically liberal on most issues – and you don’t typically see an argument for school choice coming from the left.

First let me address some of the more personal issues that were raised. I want to make it clear that no one paid me to write that op-ed – or this follow-up piece. I wrote it as a concerned parent who is looking for solutions. I attended public schools in South Carolina; some were good, some were bad. My children attend public school. I am not asking for anyone to pay for my children to attend private school. If you would like to label me a “voucher clown,” I suggest that you move on from silly ad hominem attacks and propose some real solutions to this state’s public education crisis.

As I said, the holy grail that is public education needs to be fully scrutinized. When what we’ve got isn’t working for so many, no reform should be off the table and all possible solutions should be studied. Citizens who want to help children, especially the most disadvantaged, should be lobbying their legislators for more comprehensive school choice legislation, not less.

I am not advocating giving up on the public school system at all. I am trying to find ways to save the children who are currently in the system while we work on longer term solutions to fix its underlying problems.

I am primarily looking for ways to allow children in sub-par schools to be able to go to better public schools (which they are not zoned for) or to public charter schools – if that is the right fit for them. It is an inability to pay to go to better, out-of-zone schools that is the problem for so many who are in failing public schools. Whether it is the fee that must be paid to attend a neighboring school district (which offsets taxes not paid by non-resdients), the cost of transportation to another school, or the cost of the time a parent must spend shuttling that child to and from school instead of working – or even the cost of a uniform required by a public charter school, these are expenses many families cannot afford.

A voucher or tax credit could make those expenses more affordable for those families.

To those who say that a voucher or tax credit program for low income or disabled students won’t work because parents are not present to advocate on behalf of their children, I would ask you to reflect upon any community initiatives that have helped these populations through a joint public-private partnership. Where I live, the Northside Initiaive – which consisted of low-income citizens coming together with city government, law enforcement, and various non-profit agencies to improve their circumstances and better their own community – is one such program.

Why couldn’t a voucher program for these citizens be coordinated through such an initiative that already has proven results in this community?

I would prefer that children stay in public schools in general because, as a society, we have an obligation (not to mention a constitutional mandate) to educate our children for the greater good. An educated populace raises the standard of living for us all. That is why we spend taxpayer dollars to educate our children. Also, private and religious schools are not mandated to accept and use resources on every student as public schools are required to do.

But I also recognize that standard public school isn’t the best fit for every child. For some children it’s a public charter school, and for others it may be a private charter school, independent school, parochial school, or home schooling. One size does not fit all when it comes to education; No one truly believes that it does, so why not use those same taxpayer dollars to ensure that children are getting the right education for them. That was the origination of the public charter school system, which is paid for with taxpayer dollars. Why can’t we extend the same concept to other types of schools? To those who say the issue there is a lack of accountability with private or religious schools, I ask you just how well that government oversight is working out in South Carolina’s “Corridor of Shame” schools?

The neighborhood school model that our current public school system is based on is clearly segregated by socioeconomic status – if you can afford to live where the best schools are, you do. And if you can’t, you don’t. That must change if we are ever to have more than just a few “good schools” in any given district. And while there is token “choice” within some school districts, parents know that capacity limits are often reached before they can get their application paperwork in, and other restrictions such as requiring enrollment for a certain period of time once a child is accepted – even if the school turns out to be a bad fit for the child – makes it no real choice at all.

We need true open enrollment policies to prevent this from happening.

Does that mean that some schools will close and be consolidated with others? Yes. That’s already happening in public school districts, and I don’t see it as a bad thing. Doing the right thing for children often means making difficult decisions that do not please everyone, but I’m more concerned with getting children to the right schools than I am with closing underperforming neighborhood schools. If tools exists that will help parents (or grandparents or social welfare agencies working with children) get to better schools – which more often than not will be other public schools because the price of private school tuition is usually too high to be covered by a voucher or tax credit amount that the legislature will vote for anyway – then why not give it to them?

If progressives truly believe that each child deserves an education that will help him fulfill his unique potential, then why prevent him from getting it because “school choice” and “voucher” sound like dirty words to you? They very well could be the salvation that a child in a bad situation needs to rise above his circumstances. Don’t deny him that because you value preserving the system over meeting the immediate needs of the children in it. The five years (or more) it could take to test a new program for effectiveness within a failing public school could mean the difference between successful graduation and dropping out for a middle-schooler.

The bottom line is that we have a problem that we need to fix for the sake of our children. Let’s leave all of our options on the table.

amy lazenby

Amy Lazenby is a wife, mother of three and small business owner with her husband who splits her time between South Carolina and Georgia. She writes with a liberal world view on most issues, but enjoys exploring where the liberal and libertarian political axes intersect. Follow her on Twitter @Mrs_Laz.

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63 comments

? May 22, 2013 at 10:18 am

Kudos to you Lazenby for taking what I’m sure is a difficult stance given your political leanings.

“If progressives truly believe that each child deserves an education that will help him fulfill his unique potential, then why prevent him from getting it because “school choice” and “voucher” sound like dirty words to you?”

Putting on my tin foil hat, let me suggest why:

Money.

The education establishment within gov’t run sectors is made of primarily of “progressives”.

They talk of the high minded ideals regarding educating the kids…but when it comes right down to it, if changes to policy and redistribution of wealth impacts their salary’s negatively you better believe that there is an agenda for many of them(not all) on that basis alone…and it will never be admitted truthfully because it undermines their argument obviously.

Reply
rwwllms May 22, 2013 at 10:22 am

Right you are ?. It’s always about the money. In this case it’s about the gravy train the SC educrats are on. A huge percentage of our tax money that goes to education ends up in the pockets of the educrats. They’ve even gone on record saying that they don’t care about the kids, their main objective is to keep and protect their jobs. Screw the kids.

Reply
? May 22, 2013 at 10:18 am

Kudos to you Lazenby for taking what I’m sure is a difficult stance given your political leanings.

“If progressives truly believe that each child deserves an education that will help him fulfill his unique potential, then why prevent him from getting it because “school choice” and “voucher” sound like dirty words to you?”

Putting on my tin foil hat, let me suggest why:

Money.

The education establishment within gov’t run sectors is made of primarily of “progressives”.

They talk of the high minded ideals regarding educating the kids…but when it comes right down to it, if changes to policy and redistribution of wealth impacts their salary’s negatively you better believe that there is an agenda for many of them(not all) on that basis alone…and it will never be admitted truthfully because it undermines their argument obviously.

Reply
rwwllms May 22, 2013 at 10:22 am

Right you are ?. It’s always about the money. In this case it’s about the gravy train the SC educrats are on. A huge percentage of our tax money that goes to education ends up in the pockets of the educrats. They’ve even gone on record saying that they don’t care about the kids, their main objective is to keep and protect their jobs. Screw the kids.

Reply
A Friend May 22, 2013 at 10:46 am

I liked the last article, and I like this one, too. She’s asking to leave all options on the table for the sake of the kids. I have no problem with that, and I lean to the left, too.

Reply
GrandTango May 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm

You seem to “LIKE” Everything…w/ no real ability to explain why…
A writer who pleases one who is so easy, may have a LONG way to go to achieve any credibility to a substantial audience.

Reply
Buz Martin May 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Not nearly as far as you, though.

Reply
Frank Pytel May 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Well said T. You’re coming along nicely.

Have a Great Day!! :) There won’t be many left with the Demlicans and Republicrats in charge.

Frank Pytel

Reply
A Friend May 22, 2013 at 2:17 pm

No real ability to explain why I like something?

“She’s asking to leave all options on the table for the sake of the kids.
I have no problem with that, and I lean to the left, too.”

^ That would be an explanation of why I liked this article. Read for comprehension.

Reply
GrandTango May 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm

So your observation, your reason for praise, is that she is really saying ‘I Hate Private education, but since liberals have failed over and over, for deades, I guess I’ll show how intelligent and open-minded I am for maybe considering something that works”…
Yeah: Your genius is equal to hers…I will say that….

Reply
Hank Hill May 22, 2013 at 5:11 pm

From what I’ve read by you, BigT/Tango GrandDragon, I’d swear that your lack of genius is parallel to Beavis and Butthead.

GrandTango May 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Yet you are too F^&*in Stupid to offer anything yourself, except what some dumb@$$, leftwing puppet-master feeds your ignorant @$$…

Are you For expensive, Failed, liberal-controlled public schools???

Or: Are you w/ Lizenby and for efficient, suuccessful, Private schools because she is ready to concede liberalism has failed children miserably???

OR: Are you too F%^&*in stuupid to give an answer, w/o someone telling you what to think???

A Friend May 22, 2013 at 10:46 am

I liked the last article, and I like this one, too. She’s asking to leave all options on the table for the sake of the kids. I have no problem with that, and I lean to the left, too.

Reply
Smirks May 22, 2013 at 11:22 am

The problem I have is that some voucher or tax credit is not going to get every single kid out of a failing public school and into a private school that is going to be significantly better. If a public school or school district is failing, it needs intervention outside of its own system. A district should be forced to deal with individual failing schools, and a district fails to do so, or is showing many failing schools, or is failing in and of itself should be dealt with by some outside force.

Vouchers do nothing to solve the actual problem, they just take money from elsewhere in a vain attempt to send some (not all) kids elsewhere in the hopes that they get a better education. No guarantees. Little to no oversight. No further action to correct the failing public school system we are jettisoning children from. At best it is filling a pothole with sand, at worst it is taking money from public schools that are already in dire straights and handing it to private schools and nothing good comes out of it.

I also think that there will be several private schools that will use any means necessary to keep the “undesirables” out of their schools, limiting choices for some parents to private schools that don’t perform nearly as well.

If we’re going to talk about fixing public schools, let’s talk about fixing public schools. Sending a fraction of the kids in failing schools to private institutions doesn’t fix anything, it just makes it that much easier to ignore the problem we are already doing a piss-poor job fixing now.

Reply
? May 22, 2013 at 11:28 am

“Sending a fraction of the kids in failing schools to private institutions doesn’t fix anything”

Well, it potentially helps the kids that are suffering in the failing schools….

Reply
So May 22, 2013 at 11:35 am

No guarantees? There are no guarantees in public school as it is. Little to no oversight? If a kid got a voucher to go to a different public school or a public charter school like she said, wouldn’t there be the same public oversight?

Reply
Smirks May 22, 2013 at 11:22 am

The problem I have is that some voucher or tax credit is not going to get every single kid out of a failing public school and into a private school that is going to be significantly better. If a public school or school district is failing, it needs intervention outside of its own system. A district should be forced to deal with individual failing schools, and a district fails to do so, or is showing many failing schools, or is failing in and of itself should be dealt with by some outside force.

Vouchers do nothing to solve the actual problem, they just take money from elsewhere in a vain attempt to send some (not all) kids elsewhere in the hopes that they get a better education. No guarantees. Little to no oversight. No further action to correct the failing public school system we are jettisoning children from. At best it is filling a pothole with sand, at worst it is taking money from public schools that are already in dire straights and handing it to private schools and nothing good comes out of it.

I also think that there will be several private schools that will use any means necessary to keep the “undesirables” out of their schools, limiting choices for some parents to private schools that don’t perform nearly as well.

If we’re going to talk about fixing public schools, let’s talk about fixing public schools. Sending a fraction of the kids in failing schools to private institutions doesn’t fix anything, it just makes it that much easier to ignore the problem we are already doing a piss-poor job fixing now.

Reply
? May 22, 2013 at 11:28 am

“Sending a fraction of the kids in failing schools to private institutions doesn’t fix anything”

Well, it potentially helps the kids that are suffering in the failing schools….

Reply
So May 22, 2013 at 11:35 am

No guarantees? There are no guarantees in public school as it is. Little to no oversight? If a kid got a voucher to go to a different public school or a public charter school like she said, wouldn’t there be the same public oversight?

Reply
GrandTango May 22, 2013 at 11:24 am

I’ve seen this a lot in my career. Novice, would-be writers take themselves WAY TOO Seriously…
When you worry as much about the way people respond, as you do about your personal opinion, you will not last long as a writer for public consumption…
Regardless of what I, or anyone, think(s) put it out there, and leave it alone….
If others want to give their opinion, it’s obvious that FITS will liberally take submissions to “publish” on his website.
To hand wring shows weakness and a lack of authority and belief in yourself. That (many times) comes from inexperience and a lack heavy lifing…(understandable)…
PS: a lot of your defenders will see my critiique as unfair criticism. It is valuable advice. Hope you take it that way….

Reply
A Friend May 22, 2013 at 11:29 am

It’s also obvious that FITS will let any troll comment on his blog.

You’re always saying you’re a writer, but you’ve never shown us any of your work. If your posts here are any indication of it, you’re hardly in a position to give advice.

And I appreciate a writer who is willing to listen and respond to criticism. I don’t see any “hand wringing.” I see her answering questions and doubling down on her position.

Reply
GrandTango May 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

You truly are: “A FRIEND.” But if she is really serious, A FRIEND is not what she needs…

That said: Liberal pontificators, short on street-level experience, are plentiful…Common-man real life, from a Conservative w/ years of practical experience, is rare…

Still the market fetes leftwing propaganda peddlers, while it’s reviled at (w/ a couple of exceptions) people like me. Even to its own detriment. (see State newspaper)…

Reply
Jan May 22, 2013 at 11:44 am

Ms. Lazenby, your premise that we should leave all options on the table is wrong. Because some options have proven not to work over and over. We do not need to leave those options on the table?

My doctor has a collection of antique medical devices. One is an 18th century bloodletting device. If you go into your doctor because you have detected a lump in your breast, do you want him to leave bloodletting as a treatment option on the table? Will it work? No, but its better than nothing, isn’t it?? It is OK to answer no to that last question.

You stated your ideal for school choice was expanding Charter schools allowing children in failing schools to move to other school districts. Those are all viable options. Because they are options designed to help all the children in public schools get a better education they are worthy public goals. But guess why those are not on the table. Because the tax credit/tax voucher crowd opposes them. That does not get money to the people they are trying to get money to. The people who are already in private school.

The problem I have with you, is you are supporting their argument that people who disagree with them are just greedy. You are buying into the idea that teachers in public schools do not care about their students and they are opposed to vouchers and tax credits because they will lose money. That is an argument right out of Howard Rich’s mouth, and it is as untrue coming from your mouth as it is from his. Which is why there will continue to be speculation as to your motives. When you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas.

There are a lot of ways to make public education better. Many are not considered because teachers and administrators are afraid of change. Like eliminating teacher contracts, empowering administrators to fire teachers who do not perform, holding administrators accountable for results, consolidating school districts, getting politics out of the schools, implementing private sector hiring, firing and evaluation practices, merit pay. The public should force those changes on the system.

But these and other options are also ignored because most of the voucher/tax credit folks do not want public education to improve. They have already abandoned public education and they want to take their money out of public education. They are not going to use public schools anyway. Some want their children to mix with the “right folks”. Some are racists and don’t want their children to mix with minorities. Some are more interested in a religious education than they are an academic education. All of which is fine as long as you are not asking someone to help you pay who you would not want to be in the school you are asking them to help you pay for, or who could not get into the school you are asking them to pay for. Talk about greed!

I am not a teacher. I have never had a government job. I put one child through private school and one child through public school and I have spent my share of time trying to make my already good public schools better. The voucher/tax credit idea will not help. It will hurt public schools. It will not help poor or lower middle income families who cannot afford private schools, because it will either be too little to help them or they will not be able to get into the best private schools. It will help wealthy families who are already sending their kids to private schools at the expense of everyone else. It will make it possible for some families who could afford private school if they sacrificed a little (i.e. did not take the cruise, mom got a job, dad dropped the country club membership, etc) to avoid those sacrifices. And frankly that is the goal here.

Reply
So May 22, 2013 at 11:54 am

Let’s see: Your second paragraph is a false analogy. Your third paragraph has a false premise: there is currently an open enrollment bill in the Senate Education Committee supported by the “voucher crowd.”
The rest of your argument appears to be a personal attack on the writer questioning her motives and calling her names. At least you do admit that teachers and administrators being afraid of change is a big part of the problem.

Reply
Jan May 22, 2013 at 12:01 pm

My analogy is false if you believe vouchers and tax credits help. I do not. I spent very little time attacking the writer. I accused her of attacking public school educators, which by implication she did. The voucher/ tax credit folks could not care less about expanding charter schools or allowing children to attend other school districts. They won’t oppose it so long as they get their voucher or tax credit. I stand by my points.

Reply
A Friend May 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

“I accused her of attacking public school educators, which by implication she did.”

If she did it by implication, you did it explicitly:

“There are a lot of ways to make public education better. Many are not considered because teachers and administrators are afraid of change.”

Now, I do like these points that you made:

“Like eliminating teacher contracts, empowering administrators to fire teachers who do not perform, holding administrators accountable for results, consolidating school districts, getting politics out of the schools, implementing private sector hiring, firing and evaluation practices, merit pay. The public should force those changes on the system.”

Reply
Jan May 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm

The difference is in motive. I did not attack public school educators as acting out of greed. Fear of change is not uncommon and not greedy. I do see that among educators there is resistance to changes designed to allow managers to more effectively manage employment. I believe that is because it is new and they do not see how it would work. But every other profession uses standard hiring, firing and evaluation practices. Good managers can come up with a way to fairly evaluate educator performance, and if they cannot they should not be managers.

I believe public school educators put the interest of their students above their personal interest. I think they really want what is best for their students. I do not believe they are resistant to voucher and tax credits because they are greedy. I believe most voucher supporters support vouchers because they want the money.

A Friend May 22, 2013 at 2:11 pm

So the poor parents of poor students who want to go to better schools just want the money? No, I think they want to go to the better schools.

Jan May 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm

The voucher proposal or tax deduction proposals do not give money to poor parents or help them send their kids to better schools. In fact those proposals will hurt the schools they have available to them. If you are “poor” and you think any a voucher or tax deduction will help you, you either do not understand how the system works or you have been played.

Jan May 22, 2013 at 11:44 am

Ms. Lazenby, your premise that we should leave all options on the table is wrong. Because some options have proven not to work over and over. We do not need to leave those options on the table?

My doctor has a collection of antique medical devices. One is an 18th century bloodletting device. If you go into your doctor because you have detected a lump in your breast, do you want him to leave bloodletting as a treatment option on the table? Will it work? No, but its better than nothing, isn’t it?? It is OK to answer no to that last question.

You stated your ideal for school choice was expanding Charter schools allowing children in failing schools to move to other school districts. Those are all viable options. Because they are options designed to help all the children in public schools get a better education they are worthy public goals. But guess why those are not on the table. Because the tax credit/tax voucher crowd opposes them. That does not get money to the people they are trying to get money to. The people who are already in private school.

The problem I have with you, is you are supporting their argument that people who disagree with them are just greedy. You are buying into the idea that teachers in public schools do not care about their students and they are opposed to vouchers and tax credits because they will lose money. That is an argument right out of Howard Rich’s mouth, and it is as untrue coming from your mouth as it is from his. Which is why there will continue to be speculation as to your motives. When you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas.

There are a lot of ways to make public education better. Many are not considered because teachers and administrators are afraid of change. Like eliminating teacher contracts, empowering administrators to fire teachers who do not perform, holding administrators accountable for results, consolidating school districts, getting politics out of the schools, implementing private sector hiring, firing and evaluation practices, merit pay. The public should force those changes on the system.

But these and other options are also ignored because most of the voucher/tax credit folks do not want public education to improve. They have already abandoned public education and they want to take their money out of public education. They are not going to use public schools anyway. Some want their children to mix with the “right folks”. Some are racists and don’t want their children to mix with minorities. Some are more interested in a religious education than they are an academic education. All of which is fine as long as you are not asking someone to help you pay who you would not want to be in the school you are asking them to help you pay for, or who could not get into the school you are asking them to pay for. Talk about greed!

I am not a teacher. I have never had a government job. I put one child through private school and one child through public school and I have spent my share of time trying to make my already good public schools better. The voucher/tax credit idea will not help. It will hurt public schools. It will not help poor or lower middle income families who cannot afford private schools, because it will either be too little to help them or they will not be able to get into the best private schools. It will help wealthy families who are already sending their kids to private schools at the expense of everyone else. It will make it possible for some families who could afford private school if they sacrificed a little (i.e. did not take the cruise, mom got a job, dad dropped the country club membership, etc) to avoid those sacrifices. And frankly that is the goal here.

Reply
So May 22, 2013 at 11:54 am

Let’s see: Your second paragraph is a false analogy. Your third paragraph has a false premise: there is currently an open enrollment bill in the Senate Education Committee supported by the “voucher crowd.”
The rest of your argument appears to be a personal attack on the writer questioning her motives and calling her names. At least you do admit that teachers and administrators being afraid of change is a big part of the problem.

Reply
Jan May 22, 2013 at 12:01 pm

My analogy is false if you believe vouchers and tax credits help. I do not. I spent very little time attacking the writer. I accused her of attacking public school educators, which by implication she did. The voucher/ tax credit folks could not care less about expanding charter schools or allowing children to attend other school districts. They won’t oppose it so long as they get their voucher or tax credit. I stand by my points.

Reply
A Friend May 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

“I accused her of attacking public school educators, which by implication she did.”

If she did it by implication, you did it explicitly:

“There are a lot of ways to make public education better. Many are not considered because teachers and administrators are afraid of change.”

Now, I do like these points that you made:

“Like eliminating teacher contracts, empowering administrators to fire teachers who do not perform, holding administrators accountable for results, consolidating school districts, getting politics out of the schools, implementing private sector hiring, firing and evaluation practices, merit pay. The public should force those changes on the system.”

Reply
Jan May 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm

The difference is in motive. I did not attack public school educators as acting out of greed. Fear of change is not uncommon and not greedy. I do see that among educators there is resistance to changes designed to allow managers to more effectively manage employment. I believe that is because it is new and they do not see how it would work. But every other profession uses standard hiring, firing and evaluation practices. Good managers can come up with a way to fairly evaluate educator performance, and if they cannot they should not be managers.

I believe public school educators put the interest of their students above their personal interest. I think they really want what is best for their students. I do not believe they are resistant to voucher and tax credits because they are greedy. I believe most voucher supporters support vouchers because they want the money.

A Friend May 22, 2013 at 2:11 pm

So the poor parents of poor students who want to go to better schools just want the money? No, I think they want their kids to go to the better schools.

Jan May 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm

The voucher proposal or tax deduction proposals do not give money to poor parents or help them send their kids to better schools. In fact those proposals will hurt the schools they have available to them. If you are “poor” and you think any a voucher or tax deduction will help you, you either do not understand how the system works or you have been played.

FunkyChicken May 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

You have already lost your credibility with this reader Mrs. Lazenby.
Although I enjoyed your last post, I will not waste the time to read anymore of your opinions. You are clearly a proud participant in this “getting paid to offer someone else’s opinion” scheme. In other words, you are just like Will Folks. Maybe next week you can write a piece on why abortion should be illegal. I hear it is lucrative.

Reply
FunkyChicken May 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

You have already lost your credibility with this reader Mrs. Lazenby.
Although I enjoyed your last post, I will not waste the time to read anymore of your opinions. You are clearly a proud participant in this “getting paid to offer someone else’s opinion” scheme. In other words, you are just like Will Folks. Maybe next week you can write a piece on why abortion should be illegal. I hear it is lucrative.

Reply
EJB May 22, 2013 at 12:34 pm

When the people of South Carolina were hoodwinked into approving the “Education” Lottery the talk was all of K-12. After the lottery passed and was set up guess where most of the money went, higher education via scholarships. Guess what happened to higher education tuitions, they went up more than twice as fast as inflation (Thomas Sowell has several great articles on this). Choice, vouchers and magnet/charter schools won’t “fix” education. The primary problems are responsibility, accountability and discipline. Kids get away with the most outrageous behavior and even when teachers defend themselves they are the ones castigated. Bad teachers are allowed to continue teaching and school boards worry more about friends and relatives than the children in their school districts. I have really had enough of doing things “for the children” because every time I hear that my taxes go up and the volume of the complainers increases a notch (because no matter what is done “for the children” it is never enough).

I think it was a school district over by Blacksburg that had horrible issues within the district. Two true reformers finally got elected and tried to make changes to the district. It was such a nasty situation with those two being picked on by the other members of the board and those other members of the board having cronies attacking them that those two reformers resigned. That school district got what they wanted and if the voters there won’t work to improve it why should my tax dollars? They wanted a crooked school district and fought hard to keep it, vouchers, scholarships, charters it’s just another way for the crooked to reap financial benefits from the taxpayers. Do they help SOME kids, sure, but it isn’t worth it to me.

Reply
EJB May 22, 2013 at 12:34 pm

When the people of South Carolina were hoodwinked into approving the “Education” Lottery the talk was all of K-12. After the lottery passed and was set up guess where most of the money went, higher education via scholarships. Guess what happened to higher education tuitions, they went up more than twice as fast as inflation (Thomas Sowell has several great articles on this). Choice, vouchers and magnet/charter schools won’t “fix” education. The primary problems are responsibility, accountability and discipline. Kids get away with the most outrageous behavior and even when teachers defend themselves they are the ones castigated. Bad teachers are allowed to continue teaching and school boards worry more about friends and relatives than the children in their school districts. I have really had enough of doing things “for the children” because every time I hear that my taxes go up and the volume of the complainers increases a notch (because no matter what is done “for the children” it is never enough).

I think it was a school district over by Blacksburg that had horrible issues within the district. Two true reformers finally got elected and tried to make changes to the district. It was such a nasty situation with those two being picked on by the other members of the board and those other members of the board having cronies attacking them that those two reformers resigned. That school district got what they wanted and if the voters there won’t work to improve it why should my tax dollars? They wanted a crooked school district and fought hard to keep it, vouchers, scholarships, charters it’s just another way for the crooked to reap financial benefits from the taxpayers. Do they help SOME kids, sure, but it isn’t worth it to me.

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GrandTango May 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm

One thing that is original about Lizenby’s struggle w/ her internal leftwing. It is pitting liberal against liberal…

I think if there is a black candidate in the 2016 democrat presidential primary, it will rip up the party, if Hillary has not already been eliminated…Not to mention, Obama has made blacks in the party feel they are entitled to the nomination. That’s how they roll…

So I expect internal fighting among democrats will get violent as their exploitation of race finally catches up with them…

Also: I expect the Total Corruption of the Obama Administration to cause somewhat of a schism in the party because there are a few moral people left in that party…

So Lizenby is prescient on that front…

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Jan May 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm

“because there are a few moral people left in that party”

So that is one thing they have going for them over the Republicans.

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GrandTango May 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm

But you implement your total disregard for the rights of the people and your immorality w/o fear.

In other words: If the GOP tried even a fraction of your level of corruption, it would be crucified by the media…

You are DEFINED by Immorality…Republicans do little wrong…but are attacked daily as if they were as low as your actuually are…

That’s just how it is…

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Jan May 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm

“Republicans do little wrong”

(See Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Mark Foley, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig, John Ensign, David Vitter, Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, Watergate, Iran Contra, Iraq War, Halliburton’s no bid contracts; Outing of Valerie Plame, Department of Minerals Management Service under Bush consumed alcohol, used cocaine and marijuana at industry functions, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives while supposedly regulating those companies; L. Paul Bremer, Bush appointed head of reconstruction in Iraq, was unable to account for 12 billion dollars in cash supposedly “expended” in Iraq: In 2002 Bush signed a secret order authorizing the NSA to engage in wiretapping of US Citizens and interception of emails without notice or warrant, in violation of US law; In 2006 leaks in the Bush administration divulged that the NSA had been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of US CItizens using data provided by AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth; 52 Americans died in 11 Terrorist attacks on US Embassies during the Bush Administration, no investigations) Do I have to go on or do we all get the point?

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Anne Wiggins Smith May 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Well done…either my mind was more open this time, or your explanation of your position was better this time around…either way, I understand more now about what you mean. I can support this idea, as long as work IS being done to strengthen the public school system overall and to convince the legislature that education must always be the priority for SC. (You’d think that would be a given, wouldn’t you?)

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Anne Wiggins Smith May 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Well done…either my mind was more open this time, or your explanation of your position was better this time around…either way, I understand more now about what you mean. I can support this idea, as long as work IS being done to strengthen the public school system overall and to convince the legislature that education must always be the priority for SC. (You’d think that would be a given, wouldn’t you?)

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BIN News Editorial Staff May 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm

More driveling blather and voucher clown rhetoric. The voucher scam and life are both “like a box of chocolate.” There are more nuts out there than most folks realize.

Anyone who supports Howie the Voucher Clown’s voucher scam is either a paid voucher pimp, a brainwashed teabugger or just a nut. Regardless of your claim to fame.

Vouchers (regardless of the lipstick you put on that pig) would do nothing for those who need help the most except leave them further behind.

Mz. Lazenby also needs to realize that few read such long winded blather. Make your point in no more than four short paragraphs.

BIN News
Fair, Flair, Flare and Balanced

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? May 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Your diatribes are growing stale and stopped having any sense of creativity a long time ago.

Try a new angle, your stuff almost looks copied/pasted anymore.

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BIN News Editorial Staff May 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm

More driveling blather and voucher clown rhetoric. The voucher scam and life are both “like a box of chocolate.” There are more nuts out there than most folks realize.

Anyone who supports Howie the Voucher Clown’s voucher scam is either a paid voucher pimp, a brainwashed teabugger or just a nut. Regardless of your claim to fame.

Vouchers (regardless of the lipstick you put on that pig) would do nothing for those who need help the most except leave them further behind.

Mz. Lazenby also needs to realize that few read such long winded blather. Make your point in no more than four short paragraphs.

BIN News
Fair, Flair, Flare and Balanced

Reply
? May 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Your diatribes are growing stale and stopped having any sense of creativity a long time ago.

Try a new angle, your stuff almost looks copied/pasted anymore.

Reply
BIN News Editorial Staff May 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Because ? You M@@r@@n, Your Voucher Scam leaves brazillions of kids behind.

It does nothing to help those who need help the most. You claim Howie’s voucher scam will help all kids, but everyone knows that’s lie. Bold faced. And you know it.

A brazen lie.

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So May 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm

What’s a M@@r@@n? Because? You appear about as intelligent as BigT when you use “words” like that. Would you like a voucher to attend a school than can actually teach you how to write? It might make you a brazillion times smarter.

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? May 22, 2013 at 9:16 pm

“You claim Howie’s voucher scam will help all kids”

I did? lol….go ahead and quote me then.

“Your Voucher Scam leaves brazillions of kids behind.”

Look, Lazenby is making perfect sense here. You can’t save “everyone”.

It’s triage right now until the gov’t schools get their act together.

What you want is for EVERYONE to suffer, under the continual and misplaced hope that the promises of improvement will eventually bear fruit.

Lazenby is realistic in the whole thing, even going so far to say that some sub standard schools are hopeless and will close, which will redistribute money to those schools doing better…and the students of the closed schools will naturally benefit.

Your rants are so one sided/unbalanced that it’s hard for either side of the current gov’t school paradigm to take you seriously.

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BIN News Editorial Staff May 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Because ? You M@@r@@n, Your Voucher Scam leaves brazillions of kids behind.

It does nothing to help those who need help the most. You claim Howie’s voucher scam will help all kids, but everyone knows that’s lie. Bold faced. And you know it.

A brazen lie.

Reply
So May 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm

What’s a M@@r@@n? Because? You appear about as intelligent as BigT when you use “words” like that. Would you like a voucher to attend a school than can actually teach you how to write? It might make you a brazillion times smarter.

Reply
? May 22, 2013 at 9:16 pm

“You claim Howie’s voucher scam will help all kids”

I did? lol….go ahead and quote me then.

“Your Voucher Scam leaves brazillions of kids behind.”

Look, Lazenby is making perfect sense here. You can’t save “everyone”.

It’s triage right now until the gov’t schools get their act together.

What you want is for EVERYONE to suffer, under the continual and misplaced hope that the promises of improvement will eventually bear fruit.

Lazenby is realistic in the whole thing, even going so far to say that some sub standard schools are hopeless and will close, which will redistribute money to those schools doing better…and the students of the closed schools will naturally benefit.

Your rants are so one sided/unbalanced that it’s hard for either side of the current gov’t school paradigm to take you seriously.

Reply

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