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Exodus Out of Tax-Funded Schools in Major Cities

Written by Gary North on July 25, 2012

Parents are pulling their children out of the government schools. This is happening across the USA.

In city after city, enrollment is declining. This is not a recent development. It has been going on for a half a decade. It has taken place in half of the nation’s largest districts.

The trend looks irreversible.

As the Web offers better programs free of charge, the public schools cannot compete. The inner city schools are catastrophic. They are getting worse. As whites ans Asians flee the cities, the inner-city schools get worse.

The tax base shrinks. The teachers union demands more pay and smaller classes. The city governments are trapped. Solution: cut programs, fire teachers, and enlarge classes back to (horror!) 1959’s 33 students.

Nobody is supposed to talk about this. It is time to talk about it. Public education will not recover. The longer the decline takes place, the more parents will conclude that there is only one solution: pull their kids out.

At some point, voters will not pass any more bond issues. They will not consent to higher property taxes. They will let the public schools sink.

The only established church in the USA will find fewer members. The only kids will be those whose parents do not have the money to pull them out.

The New York Times reports: “Urban districts like Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio, are facing an exodus even as the school-age population has increased.”

The exodus has begun. “Let my people go!”

School financing is on a per-pupil basis. This dooms districts whose student enrollment is falling.

Teachers will be fired. Courses like art, music, dance, and other classes that will not get an inner-city kid a job will be cut.

The rise of charter schools has accelerated some enrollment declines. The number of students fell about 5 percent in traditional public school districts between 2005 and 2010; by comparison, the number of students in all-charter districts soared by close to 60 percent, according to the Department of Education data. Thousands of students have moved into charter schools in districts with both traditional public and charter schools.

Although the total number of students in charter schools is just 5 percent of all public school children, it has had a striking effect in some cities. In Columbus, Ohio, for example, enrollment in city schools declined by more than 10 percent — or about 6,150 students — between 2005 and 2010, even as charter schools gained close to 9,000 students.

Charter schools are not under the thumb of school boards, politicians, and the teachers union.

The old model for schools is dying.

In Los Angeles, the district has dismissed more than 8,500 teachers and other education workers in the last four years as enrollment fell by about 56,000 students. The Mesa Unified District, which lost 7,155 students between 2005 and 2010, has closed four middle schools in the last three years, delayed new textbook purchases, and laid off librarians.

The students left behind in some of these large districts are increasingly children with disabilities, in poverty or learning English as a second language.

Their parents have little political clout. They do not pay taxes. They rent. They are on welfare.

Parents with money will no longer pay for these schools. The districts will have to find ways to get into wallets in the suburbs. That will not be easy. Judges will be the tools of this wealth redistribution.

Such trends alarm those who worry about the increasing inequity in schools. “I see greater stratification and greater segregation,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

You’ve got it, Randy. And your union is doomed. Your members will not get pay raises, smaller classes, and retirement benefits. Cities will declare bankruptcy and thereby escape these huge obligations.

Educators are concerned that a vicious cycle will set in. Some of the largest public school systems in the country are in danger of becoming “the schools that nobody wants,” said Jeffrey Mirel, an education historian at the University of Michigan.

You’ve got it, Jeff. Nobody wants these schools. They have failed. The era of public education is going the way of all flesh.

Who needs public schools when there is the Khan Academy?

A. Duane Arbogast, acting deputy superintendent for academics in Prince George’s County, said he recognized the challenge of persuading families to send their children to public schools.

“We simply have to get better and provide an education that people of all social classes would be proud of,” said Mr. Arbogast, who cited a new health sciences academy and a planned performing arts high school in his district.

But you can’t provide decent education, Duane. Education is not about new buildings. It’s about vision, self-discipline, future-orientation, and a curriculum that is held together by a deeply religious view. The public schools used to have such a view: the messianic transformation of mankind through public education. No one believes it any more. The money is running out.

Before the Mesa district closed Brimhall Junior High School this year, the school lost teachers in art, music and technology in part because of a declining student head count. That made it harder for the school, which faces competition from many charter schools, to attract students.

“Education has gotten to be almost a sales job,” said Susan Chard, who taught seventh grade math at Brimhall for 18 years. “You want to provide reasons for parents to bring their children to your school.”

You do, indeed. Brimhall Junior High could not come up with enough of them.

Many more Brihalls will follow.

Continue Reading on www.nytimes.com

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23 thoughts on “Exodus Out of Tax-Funded Schools in Major Cities

  1. all great news!

  2. my goal when I win a seat on the local school board is to hasten this decline

  3. Dr Parnassus says:

    Not surprising, public education, in general, in major metro areas has been in decline since the 1960's with the advent of the Dept of Education. What is surprising is that it has taken people this long to wake up…….just exactly how bad does it have to get? I don't expect any changes for the better as long as the teacher's unions are in control and the Federal Dept of Education continues to exist. According to the US Constitution, education is a state's right, not a federal right. Education was quite good before the 1960's.

  4. This may be coming true in Italy soon:

    "Deep cuts to Italy's provinces may mean that some schools will not be able to open after the summer holidays, the president of the provincial government association said. "With these cuts we won't be able to guarantee the opening of the school year," said Giuseppe Castiglione."

  5. The trouble has always been and will continue to be that public schools are funded from homeowner property taxes. It's the perfect extortion racket: regardless of how poorly schools perform, if you don't pay your property taxes, your house will be seized and auctioned on the courthouse steps. There's no way to protest or reverse the failure of public education or the death grip of public employee unions, short of just pulling up stakes and leaving. That is why public schools have never reformed and have no incentive whatsoever to compete against private schools or home schoolers.

  6. This is a good post, but it needs an editorial once-over. There are a few typos.

  7. Magnolia says:

    Cut free of the Teachers Unions, retain teachers who really love kids and teaching, fire the bad teachers, and bring the Bible and prayer back into public education. The 1960's time line is right in line with women's lib, the emasculation of our men, and the openness and acceptance of perverted teaching!! Education was great when this nation was founded. All schools were operated by the Church.

  8. It's certain that I would not send my children to a public school today. There's the indoctrination by leftist teachers, left leaning revisionist text books, busing of children into and out of various districts, having children be subjected to other children from the dregs of society and the general dumbing down of the curriculum so that very few are held back.

  9. Magnolia says:

    Yea, and even home owners with NO CHILDREN are forced to "invest in the future"…namely the children. Most of them are delinquents, passed up from grade to grade and reach Sr Hi w/o being able to read!!

  10. Good! The sooner the government school system dies the better. It is astonishing how little government-school-educated people are. Just the posts on Yahoo News shows me that a large percentage of people do not know the basic foundation of our country and government. It is a conflict of interest for the govt. be in charge of educating people of their rights and the limitation of government! Education is too important to leave to the government, which has not done anything well except win wars.

  11. Good news! The sooner these political indoctrination centers implode the better off the entire country will be, liberalism is losing, what is its response going to be? Like the sodomite movements they know they can't duplicate themselves without having dominion over children – I don't think they'll just let this slip away without a fight.

  12. In the article above there is a complaint of 33 students per class. YOU have got to be kidding. There were more than that in every class I attended upto the mid 1960's. Most classes were 50 students and up to 75 per class and guess what we learned because if we did not. We were left back to do it again. There was no such thing as No Child Left Behind. Not so much as one student was simply passed through.
    In kindergarged students HAD to learn how to give change for a dollar. We were expected to pay attention OR we were put in special classes.
    One of my gripes to the school board of my area was that those with children in the school system ought to be liable to pay a portion of the school taxes so the burden was not ONLY on the property owners. Being a property owner and not having children within the school system is more of an annoyance. Having to pay for someone elses children to simply be passed through if they learned anything or not. Then later on to be taxed more just to pay for their stupidicy cause nobody will hire them so they have to exist on welfare that I also have to pay for.
    As I see it — I am being charged/taxed for not having children. IT REALLY SUCKS.

  13. All I can say is–YESSSSSS!!!!

  14. Dr. Parnassus,

    Education is a "right" ?! Please define the concept 'right' . (Hint, you have no 'right' to other
    peoples' earnings, work or property.) Let us just say that education is a state issue.

  15. Come on people pull your kids out of these rat holes so they have to close the doors and we get rid of the teachers unions

  16. Do away with Dep Ed and voucher the entire system. Let schools compete for the money that follows the student.

  17. Dr Parnassus says:

    OK…matter of semantics…..the correct term should be "power". As stated in the U.S. Constitution, Article X, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Education is not a power granted to the United States (Federal government) by the Constitution, It is therefore a power given to the States.

  18. Let's face it, government involvement means failure.

  19. People are voting with their feet and government WILL put a stop to it. The public indoctrination system is collapsing under it's own weight, but mark my words the government WILL stop this even if it means outlawing any alternative to public indoctrination.

  20. Proof of the Dumby Down System, lol.

  21. I homeschool my kids. With that said you can never turn your back. Read all materials before letting your children learn from them. Why? Because you said it. All school materials as teachers and professor are leftist. Don't kid yourself, like me you will discover what I said is true.

  22. John Stewart says:

    What a wonderful idea the public school system has, teach to the tests, not for knowledge's sake. If one bad apple can spoil a barrel, what will happen when you get one good apple in a barrel full of rotten ones?

  23. I've been teaching 30 years. inner city school and see these things happening in Silistra, Bulgaria. God will fulfill his work completely.