TSTA and other public education advocates were successful once again last spring in defeating proposals to take tax dollars from public schools and spend them on private school vouchers. But vouchers are a bad idea that won’t go away, particularly while Dan Patrick remains lieutenant governor, and the fight will be renewed the next time the Legislature meets.
With that in mind, take a look at the TV news report, linked below, about an unaccredited private school in Lubbock, Springboard Academics, which meets behind a Biodiesel lab and offers a “private education with homeschool freedom.” Tuition is low — $350 a semester, plus a $30 registration fee.
The school may offer what some students need, but the issue is vouchers. Do we want our tax dollars spent on an unaccredited, private school that may be gone next year?
This school doesn’t accept federal funding, so it may refuse to accept vouchers. But under some voucher proposals, this is the type of tight-budget facility – and who knows how many there are in Texas — where tax dollars could be headed if vouchers became law. Many voucher advocates would rather roll the dice – with our money — on little-known institutions than adequately fund public schools, where the vast majority of Texas school children will continue to be educated. And, for every private school operator refusing vouchers, a dozen others would eagerly grab them.
“Springboard Academics is a great place for someone who thinks outside the box and wants to steer clear of what regular curriculum does,” one of the school’s teachers is quoted in the story.
I hope the school is teaching enough of the basic curriculum to provide a sound education for its students, but I want it to keep doing so without any public funding.