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Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 4:00 pm

Rep. Janis Ringhand, D-Evansville — who now represents most of Beloit — is staunchly opposed to expanding private-school voucher programs into the city as proposed by Gov. Scott Walker.

Meanwhile, her counterpart Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton — who represents a portion of Beloit’s east side — says she is open to the issue.

Wisconsin’s voucher school program could expand to nine districts across the state, including Beloit, Green Bay and Madison, under the budget proposal Walker will submit to the Legislature on Wednesday. Under Walker’s proposed formula, qualifying districts would have to have at least 4,000 students and at least two schools receiving a D or F grade on the education report card.

Wisconsin has 42 districts with at least 4,000 students, but only nine have at least two schools with the lower grade — Beloit, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Kenosha, Madison, Sheboygan, Superior, Waukesha, and West Allis-West Milwaukee.

Ringhand said she is opposed to expanding vouchers and wasn’t surprised with the news that Walker wanted to add Beloit to the list of districts slated for the program.

“I’m really disappointed the governor feels it’s the route to take. I don’t think he’s familiar with Beloit,” she said.

Ringhand said she will be talking to other legislators in areas being targeted for vouchers to see if a budget amendment can be added to remove the program from the list. She said individual communities should have the final say on whether their tax dollars can go toward private schools.

“I think that it’s definitely up to the people who live in a district, not a legislature. I know how hard Beloit is working to lift up its grades and attendance,” Ringhand said.

With the $70 million referendum just passing in April, Ringhand said she realizes the School District of Beloit needs more time to prove what it can do.

Ringhand said most people have attended public schools where they received a quality education.

“If parents want their kids to go to private school, they have the right to do it, but it shouldn’t be at the taxpayers’ expense,” she said. “It’s premature to be pushing this when the community’s not looking for it.”

State Sen. Tim Cullen said he was opposed as well and outraged the governor would include Beloit.

“The people of Beloit placed their trust in the district by passing a $70 million referendum,” he said.

Cullen suggested the governor come meet with community leaders, members of the school board, district officials and parents to find out all the good things going on in Beloit.

“If he understood the Beloit situation, he would keep his hands off Beloit,” Cullen said.

Loudenbeck appears to have changed her position since the last time vouchers were discussed two years ago. In a June 2011 interview with the Beloit Daily News, Loudenbeck said there wasn't enough support for voucher programs in Beloit so she did not support the concept.

On Monday, however, Loudenbeck said there was a very short window of time available to consider the expansion of parental school choice to Beloit during the last budget session.

“This time we have several months during which to discuss the issue, and I am hopeful that the community can engage in an open discussion that focuses on the children and families that could benefit from private school vouchers,” she said.

In response to the school district's position that poorer children won’t be able to attend voucher schools because their parents can't afford transportation, Loudenbeck noted that she previously served on the truancy committee in Beloit where members were concerned that transportation affordability was a contributing factor to truancy.

“If the School District of Beloit is so concerned about low income students not being able to afford transportation, they could start with providing increased transportation opportunities for their own students,” Loudenbeck said.

Loudenbeck also mentioned that some parental choice schools in the Milwaukee area offer wraparound services, including before and after school programs in addition to year round educational offerings which benefit working families.

Loudenbeck said after she asked for Beloit to be removed from the list of schools being considered in the 2011-2013 budget, she received many phone calls from parents and residents who wanted school choice.

“Right now I hope community members that are in favor of parental school choice would organize and build awareness of their position. I would be happy to attend community listening sessions on this issue. It’s a Beloit issue, and it’s important that there are local opportunities for the community to discuss their opinions and concerns,” she said.

Rock County Christian School Principal Bob Cerniglia said the first question interested parents often ask him when they call the school is, “What’s your tuition?”

“Oftentimes we don’t get to a second question. In terms of unemployment and poverty rates, it’s very difficult for many people to make ends meet,” Cerniglia said.

Rock County Christian School has two campuses, its preschool through fifth grade south of the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville and a sixth through twelfth grade campus in Beloit. He said transportation is not an issue, as the students who attend the Janesville campus catch a Rock County Christian School bus in Beloit and vice versa.

Cerniglia said he would like more families that contact the school to be able to attend. He doesn’t believe there would be a significant influx of students.

“We aren’t going to replace Beloit public schools,” he said. “We’d help a few families and students.”

He said some of the offerings, such as Advanced Placement classes at Beloit Memorial High School, would be a huge benefit for many students. However, there are other students who could benefit from a small school setting.

Cerniglia, who is retired from the School District of Beloit, said his son graduated from Beloit Memorial High School and his two daughters graduated from Rock County Christian School. He said both are good schools in different ways, depending on student needs.

“I don’t think tons of people would come to our school for the voucher program, but the people that want to would have that opportunity. It gives parents one more option. I think it would be very helpful to some families. To me it’s about the students. One size does not fit all,” he said.

Jim Bender, president of the advocacy group School Choice Wisconsin, said he disagrees with school district officials’ comments that voucher schools exclude the poor. He said transportation can, and sometimes is, provided by voucher schools for students.

In the case of Beloit he said private schools in Janesville could expand, private schools which have closed in Beloit could re-open or new schools could emerge in the market. He also stressed that Milwaukee Public School Choice serves almost exclusively African American and Latino populations, and disagrees with any comments made by the school district of Beloit that school choice would hurt minorities.

He disagrees with the viewpoint that Beloit needs more time to improve.

“Why should parents have to wait for the schools to get better? It’s not like this snuck up on them. It’s been this way for a long time. I just don’t know why parents have to wait to get access to their own tax dollars to get better access for their students,” he said. “If the schools are getting a lot better, and are providing a perfect environment for students of Beloit, then there is nothing to fear. If nobody wants to leave, nobody will take a voucher.”

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  • billtinder posted at 10:47 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4676

    Of course the Morgan site doesn't include a free track courtesy of Beloit Health systems. I'm sure that weighs into the comparitive choice.

  • billtinder posted at 8:15 pm on Mon, Feb 25, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4676

    I wasn't aware that the Morgan site is over 8 acres,but if it is I would also add that it happens to be on the side of I-43 that doesn't require busing to he same extent as would be required across the street.
    That in itself raises some questions.

  • DanG posted at 7:43 pm on Sun, Feb 24, 2013.

    DanG Posts: 89

    “The people of Beloit placed their trust in the district by passing a $70 million referendum,” he said.
    only to find out they were lied to just in order to get that money, now we all have to accept our accountability as we collectively throw families out of their homes to build a new school that they don't need because the Morgan site already is over 8 acres

  • DanG posted at 7:35 pm on Sun, Feb 24, 2013.

    DanG Posts: 89

    No class sizes would not triple, the private schools would hire more teachers. At private schools, teachers are there for the love of teaching and children, not the salaries and benefits the public schools are required to pay their staff!

  • DanG posted at 7:25 pm on Sun, Feb 24, 2013.

    DanG Posts: 89

    according to a friend who works for Beloit schools, the only state required test is Wis Knowledge something and is given at the same time every year in each school and in the accredited private schools too. so why the 16 days of testing? isn't that really just more tax money down the drain since we already to the state test???!!!!

  • Delavan Mike posted at 1:56 pm on Sun, Feb 24, 2013.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1295

    I agree with bill. [beam]

    At least when he writes all the blame for poor performance should not be laid at the feet of public school teachers. We can get better and are constantly working to do so with continuing education and inservices that provide us the latest strategies like RTi, common core standards, and the Schaeffer Writing Model. The public generally is not aware of all teachers do to improve because all that appears in the newspapers are test scores.

    I disagree that nothing would be written in stone and it would be easy to get rid of vouchers if they aren't working out. I think it would be incredibly difficult to get rid of them once they are in.

  • billtinder posted at 6:48 am on Sun, Feb 24, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4676

    Mike Zoril's and lilmonster's points speak to the heart of the matter. Maybe that's why no one has offered up a counter-point, because at the end of the day, the only thing thats truly important is the best education at an affordable price. Even so, I would not be so quick to lay the blame for poor porformance in public schools entirely at the feet of public teachers; as we all know that there are many other factors that impact the end result that teachers have absolutely no control over. Still I say, give vouchers a chance and see how they work out. Nothing's written in stone, and if the taxpayers decide that vouchers aren't working out; then get rid of them later.

  • Mike_Zoril posted at 9:52 pm on Thu, Feb 21, 2013.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2715

    I can understand a voucher program resulting in higher taxes if you give current private school families a voucher whereas before they were paying out of pocket. Currently, these families are paying for both private and public schools - so the public schools are being subsidized by these families that see them as such a terrible option that they don't even send their own children to them despite being free. That's like going to a restaurant and refusing to eat their food - even if they gave it away free - because it's just THAT bad. Provided that public schools reduce their draw on society's resources as their student population is re-allocated to more highly demanded alternatives, I'm willing to accept this trade-off.

    Regarding the performance of voucher students to non-voucher students, I see it as a straw-man argument. Which students are going to have a greater propensity to use the vouchers? The students already performing well in their current environment or the students performing poorly and looking for a change? I'd be more interested to see a study that compares these same voucher students on a before and after basis (voucher vs. non-voucher)...but even if academic performance didn't improve, the non-academic factors may improve (safer schools, better programs, etc).

  • lilmonster posted at 5:09 pm on Thu, Feb 21, 2013.

    lilmonster Posts: 1132

    I don't see why it matters if taxes go up or not. When your school is rated an F you have to do something. Doing nothing isn't a solution. We can't keep pumping out kids that are dumber then their peers.

    As far as what schools do a better job who better to decided that then the parents. If the private schools stink then the kids will find themselves back in public schools and taxes will return to a lower level. If the private schools are better we may be paying a little more but we will have better educated kids. I don't see a downside.

  • SumGuy posted at 3:36 pm on Thu, Feb 21, 2013.

    SumGuy Posts: 33

    For those of you in denial about "extra taxes" - yet more data indicating that private school voucher expansion does mean property taxes will rise from Marc Duff, former Republican Assembly representative (and member of the Joint Finance Committee) - the current Director of Business Services for Racine Schools.

    1) Vouchers cause property taxes to increase due to the decrease in general aid to pay for vouchers. For this year Racine property taxes INCREASED BY 3.44%. Without vouchers it would have increased by only .05%. This year there was an enrollment cap of 500 students - next year, there is no cap and the tax increase will be even higher.

    2) Only half of the students participating in the voucher program were students enrolled in Racine. Many students receiving vouchers were existing private school students. As a result, the greatest beneficiary of the voucher program in Racine has been private school parents who received a financial windfall. Parents actually enrolled their child at Horlick High School mid-year so they could get a voucher to Racine Lutheran for next year. All of the 9th graders who received vouchers in the first year of the program went to Shoreland Lutheran and none were previously students in Racine public schools.

    3) Test scores indicated voucher students in Racine performed worse than Racine School District students. Choice advocates suggest that the students they are receiving have not been the best students from Racine public schools but half of the students were never in Racine public schools! If half of the students attended private or charter students and public school test scores were higher, doesn't that indicate it was the private school students who are dragging down the test scores in the choice schools?

  • sbnative posted at 9:51 am on Thu, Feb 21, 2013.

    sbnative Posts: 30

    Mike, thank you for exposing truth behind the "extra taxes" this would cost. Never ceases to amaze me how many ways these people will find to intentionally mislead people. I guess they figure most won't take the time to check their manipulative lies. The sad thing is they are usually right.

  • billtinder posted at 7:57 am on Thu, Feb 21, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4676

    Yes Mike Zoril, that scenario is precisely what has everyone scared.

  • Mike_Zoril posted at 7:44 am on Thu, Feb 21, 2013.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2715

    SumGuy - Wouldn't it make sense to increase funding to the public schools if they started servicing more students? They would need more resources, including teachers, so I think that would make sense.

    Likewise, if the students/parents decided it was in their best interests to leave the public schools for some other option, wouldn't it make sense to reallocate those resources to whatever the students were moving to...or in other words, decrease funding to the public schools? We'd be spending the same amount on education overall, it would only be a matter of where that funding is directed.

    In your link, the Green Bay public schools are assuming that if their student body decreases due to vouchers, they should be entitled to the same amount of money despite having a lower student body. Because they have a lower student body, they would get less state funding and they propose making up the difference by charging taxpayers extra. If the public schools in Beloit had a mass exodus of students due to the voucher program, they would need to reduce their expenses accordingly instead of expecting the taxpayers to pay extra.

  • 1badbubyu posted at 7:38 pm on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    1badbubyu Posts: 1234

    Hi cynicaleye! Just wanted to let you know that I'm a conservative Rep. that voted for Gov. Walker....and you can kiss my [censored]

  • jbsback453350 posted at 4:44 pm on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    jbsback453350 Posts: 66

    "The voucher program is available only to students whose families earn less than 300 percent of the federal poverty rate, or $69,801 for a family of four. Walker doesn’t change that eligibility level. "

    I'm pretty sure the majority of Beloit will fall under this. I hope these small schools are ready to double or triple their classes.

  • FaceTheFacts posted at 4:00 pm on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    FaceTheFacts Posts: 327

    SG? Is SAA not just a Non-Unionized bunch afraid of losing their medications? I mean, with cuts happening...they might have to pay for more for the Happy Pills they take in order to "get thru the stress of life"

  • sbnative posted at 3:56 pm on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    sbnative Posts: 30


  • sbnative posted at 3:55 pm on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    sbnative Posts: 30

    SumGuy :

    News Alert! News Alert! This just in!......Beloit Public Schools get $70 million dollars (will this raise my taxes?)

  • cynicaleye posted at 3:17 pm on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    cynicaleye Posts: 501

    How many of you idiots voted for Walker and the Republicans who are doing this?

  • SumGuy posted at 2:55 pm on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    SumGuy Posts: 33

    Private school voucher expansion means property taxes will rise - some comfort in knowing that proponents of expanding vouchers actually favor paying higher taxes to support public education.

    Check out: http://wsaa.org/saainfo/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Green-Bay-Voucher-Analysis.pdf

    If Green Bay has 200 voucher students, district taxpayers will pay an additional $1,231,080 in property taxes.

    If Green Bay has 500 voucher students, district taxpayers will pay an additional $3,131,972 in property taxes.

  • marcan1 posted at 11:22 am on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    marcan1 Posts: 28

    Thanks Ringhand for ilustrating graphically why I DID NOT vote for you! I did not think you would represent me and so here you are, coming down against school choice. What's wrong with having a choice anyhow? I like to think I know what's best for my child... not you or McNeal either.

    Maybe having a choice will make the Beloit Shool District try even harder to get or keep students. And without raising taxes McNeal.

  • Mike_Zoril posted at 8:01 am on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2715

    Ringhand said "individual communities should have the final say on whether their tax dollars can go toward private schools." Why is it okay for a community to decide on how to educate your children, but it is NOT okay for the parents to decide how to educate the children?

    What if the community as a whole took a vote and decided 51% to 49% to disallow vouchers in Beloit? So in that case, the 49% get no representation and no voice? That might be how Democracy works, but that's also precisely the reason our founding fathers were against it (they gave us a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy). Vouchers protect the rights of those both in favor of public and private schools because then both sides get to determine which school they want their money to go to, and the more successful the school, the more money it will attract.

    Ringhand goes on to say "If parents want their kids to go to private school, they have the right to do it, but it shouldn't be at the taxpayers’ expense." When in Ringhand's mind did parents become non-taxpayers? Last time I checked, the parents are expected to pay taxes too - the money belongs to the people, NOT RINGHAND and her cronies.

  • PWC posted at 7:45 am on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    PWC Posts: 710

    Another thought -- The charter schools are taxpayer funded. When Beloit school district started the charter schools, we had no idea if they would be better for the kids or not. But we gave it a try. We wanted choice for the students so they would not leave the district to find what they needed. But now all I am hearing is that we should not put taxpayer money in schools that do not have the same requirements. Well, charter schools don't have the same requirements either, but we gave them a try, at taxpayer expense. The same with virtual schools. These are taxpayer funded.
    At least we know what type of private schools we have in Beloit and we know that they put out excellent students. We did not even know that much when we opened the charter schools.Charter schools also, by the way, took some of the best students out of the main schools. Nobody complained. Nobody called it a disadvantage to the others or said it was unfair. So, it seems, at this point, that this is more about the money the district stands to lose, and I understand that. But I truly believe that our schools will only get better with competition, and our students, regardless of what school they attend will benefit from better schools.

  • jbsback453350 posted at 7:26 am on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    jbsback453350 Posts: 66

    There has got to be a better way to get the SDB grades up, other than sending the failing students somewhere else.

  • lilmonster posted at 11:59 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    lilmonster Posts: 1132

    "Lil - I don't think just schools are failing our children alone....I think society is failing our children. Throwing money at education isn't the answer, but neither is blaming teachers. Large numbers of children in our community are not coming through the doors with the necessary tools to succeed. Teachers work their tails off trying to get kids to a point where they are at grade level or finding success in certains aspects of their learning"

    I agree with what you are saying. I'm far from a teacher hater. I also have a huge dislike for Walker. The guy is a snake and my natural reaction is to hate anything he stands for. That said some teachers don't put in 100%. I want to see good teachers rewarded. I want to see teachers making big money so we can attract better teachers. Now I'm using my district as an example here. In south beloit we have a ton of good teachers. We are getting results with a slightly less poverty rate then beloit is dealing with. But we also have a couple teachers that kind of stink. The sad part is some of the best teachers we have are also the lowest paid. That just isn't right to me. But the schools are union strong. That makes it tough to make changes. The only option I see is to support the school with lower overhead that are throwing a higher percentage of their revenue to teachers. If South Beloit had one principal, and one super, instead of the six total we have now, we would have about 300,000 left to spend on teachers. Now my rough guess is the average teacher in our district is making about 45,000. So if that money was spent on teachers that is almost seven more teachers in our schools. That is a lot when you have about seventy teachers total right now. Another way to look at it is right now we have one administrator for every eleven teachers. While we have one teacher for every sixteen kids. IMO we are to top heavy and don't have the ability to remove the teachers who don't pull their fair share. That is what is hurting the schools. Now what happens outside of the schools doesn't help either. But the schools need help to.

    You mentioned longer school days. How long of a day would you suggest? My middle kid leaves at 7:15 for school. He gets home at 3:15. That is 8 hours he is away. Then you toss in homework and that can be a half hour up to a hour. How much more can you force out a 7 year old? I have him in bed around 8. With a shower and a dinner he has maybe 2 hours a day free. If a teacher can't get done in 7 hours what needs to be done, then that teacher needs to find a new job. We can't turn out schools into sweatshops.

    My oldest also leaves for school at 7:15. She would get home about 3:30 but she plays sports. If they have an away game she may not get home till 10:30. If it's only a practice she gets home about 6:00. Toss in a couple hours of tutoring a week and she seems to have filled every waking hour with schooling. We head out of town on the weekends often for tournaments. She brings the books because she needs the weekends just to keep up. She can't be pushed any harder. I just don't see how longer days are possible. You have to give the kids some off time to process what they been learning.

    Summer school is an option. Maybe schools should look at forcing anyone with a gpa under 2.5 to attend school all year. Help the kids with lower grades get caught up to the kids that are getting it done in school. I don't have the answer but it we need to figure it out. What is happening now is not good. It's bad when you have 2 high schools in your town and they are both rated D or lower. That is not good for our future.

    "The state standardized tests take place in the fall, right after the students have had three months of fun in the sun."

    I don't see why this matters. Not like beloit takes these test in the fall and everyone else is taking them in the spring. As long as they are comparing apples to apples it shouldn't matter when the test is taken.

  • sbnative posted at 11:52 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    sbnative Posts: 30

    Concerned, I don't think the private schools are unwilling to have standardized testing I think its a funding issue. We had a some standardized tests given to our children last year and I think it cost us around $50 per child. You have to realize these schools are operating on half of what the public schools get p er child and with much less enrollment. If choice is opened up I'm sure this would be easier to implement.

  • PWC posted at 11:43 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    PWC Posts: 710

    Concerned, OLA uses the Iowa test. That is their standardized test. If you don't trust that, look at the product, which pretty much says it all. With 18 days of testing a year, maybe Beloit schools are really overdoing it. The WKCE state test takes only a few days. Are the Beloit kids losing too many teaching days to test taking?

  • Concerned Citizen posted at 10:47 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    Concerned Citizen Posts: 724

    SB - I have a hard time with the fact that we don't know if schools like OLA are that much better than a school in the SDB because they aren't subject to the same testing requirements that the public schools in Beloit are. Testing in public schools has become outrageous. Your typical elementary student is tested for a minimum of 16-18 days per year. These are not your kid's history or math tests, these are standardized tests. Some of these test days are required by the state, others by the district. What tool can we measure OLA with that proves it is a great school?

  • sbnative posted at 10:02 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    sbnative Posts: 30

    Very good point. More than anything else I believe parents should look to themselves when their child is struggling in school, then ask the teacher for assistance in a joint effort to get their child back on track. Too often you hear parents blaming teachers and taking no responsibility for their own child's failure. Teachers and schools can't do it all and never will. But honestly, that doesn't have anything to do with Lil's point of why a parent who chooses private school has to pay into public school also. I know some will say because its the law or because you choose it but come on what's the problem with Walker's proposal? Is it the hang up with religion? If so, no one is pushing it on you or your child. We just want the right to use our tax dollars towards the school we believe is best for our child. Isn't that a fair request?

  • PWC posted at 9:59 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    PWC Posts: 710

    In the open enrollment program there is no guarantee that the student will be accepted into the school he/she is applying to. And with open enrollment there are transportation issues because the student has to get to another city. With vouchers the student could receive school district transportation to a private school here in Beloit.

    A question I have is would the parents who currently have their children in Rock County Christian School now receive vouchers or would the vouchers only go to those who transfer out of a failing school?

    There is a lot to discuss about this topic but I think it all boils down to competition. Competition is a good thing. It makes us better.

  • Concerned Citizen posted at 9:29 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    Concerned Citizen Posts: 724

    Lil - I don't think just schools are failing our children alone....I think society is failing our children. Throwing money at education isn't the answer, but neither is blaming teachers. Large numbers of children in our community are not coming through the doors with the necessary tools to succeed. Teachers work their tails off trying to get kids to a point where they are at grade level or finding success in certains aspects of their learning. At the end of the day we can only do so much. Parental involvement and volunteering is down in schools. Many need to work multiple jobs just to stay afloat. The concern is that while our communities and children are at their neediest, we are stepping up the expectations at a rate that isn't fair to the kids.

    There are ideas that should be considered other than vouchers IMO. Longer school days and year round school is a start. We need to keep instructing our kids. There are many parents that work with their children over the summer but even more who don't. The state standardized tests take place in the fall, right after the students have had three months of fun in the sun. I wish we could rally around the kids and not play the blame game all the time.

  • lilmonster posted at 8:13 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    lilmonster Posts: 1132

    beloit62 you are such a big fan of the district that you put your kid in a private school?

    "“If parents want their kids to go to private school, they have the right to do it, but it shouldn’t be at the taxpayers’ expense,” she said. “It’s premature to be pushing this when the community’s not looking for it.”"

    Fair enough. But if a parent sends their kid to a private school should they have to pay taxes that go to public schools? You want to make things fair then stop charging the private school parents taxes that go to public schools. Give those parents a refund so they can apply that money to their kids schooling. If not then I see no problem with tax money going to private schools. Fair is fair.

    The local dems can say the schools are improving. They can say they just need more time. What they can't say is kids right now are getting a good education. The schools are failing. How long do they need? How many millions is beloit going to dump into a failing school system? Walker is right to want to try something different. Not like he is trying to replace schools that are excelling. The schools he is targeting are the worst school districts in the state. It is sad that the dems are so ready to fight this.

    The biggest problem with schools is all the suits sitting in offices. Here in South Beloit we have about 1100 kids in our district. For these 1100 kids we have 5 principals. That is way to many. Then you start tossing in a Superintendent, vice principals, and other suits and we are wasting way to much money. Right now our district is putting out close to half a million a year on suits. That is a lot of money for a district with 1,100 students.

    The other problem I have is how teachers are paid. They are not paid based on results. For instance the best science teacher makes way less then the not so good science teacher. I also think it is a tad messed up when one of your top paid teachers is a gym teacher. I have yet to go to a job interview and be asked how many situps I can do. Our school systems in this country are messed up. That is why we are falling behind other countries. I'm not saying teachers don't work hard, or deserve to be paid. I'm a big supporter of teachers. I just think the system is flawed that they work in.

  • Me2 posted at 8:10 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    Me2 Posts: 61

    Beloit doesn't have what it takes to support grocery or department stores... I highly doubt it it can support school choice.

  • sbnative posted at 7:58 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    sbnative Posts: 30

    Beloit62, so Beloit Public Schools aren't good enough for your kids but adequate for the rest?

  • Beloit62 posted at 6:00 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    Beloit62 Posts: 68

    The Beloit School District has been working hard to improve student performance and has achieved results. Like the majority of Beloit voters who voted "yes' on the referendum, I am pretty confident in the district's leadership and its programs, and my child goes to one of the city's private schools. The open enrollment program in the public school system does work and has lead our district to create needed courses and programs to retain gifted students.

    Vouchers would help a few children who cannot afford private schools attend them, but the majority of families drawing on vouchers in town would likely be those that already send their kids to religiously affiliated schools. It seems highly unlikely that many of the city's poorest residents, unless they were already Catholic or into Christian education, would send their kids to Our Lady of the Assumption or Rock County Christian--unless these schools were ready to welcome and educate a diverse and larger student body. The Archdiocese of Madison, for example, has retreated from Beloit by closing Beloit Catholic and Brother Dutton and focused its efforts on OLA, a small parish school. Our city is a long way from being able to use the voucher system as a viable alternative to our public school system. Our current school system--and the kids in it--need all the funding that we and our state can provide.

    Beloit lacks the educational infrastructure to benefit from vouchers.

  • 1badbubyu posted at 5:45 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    1badbubyu Posts: 1234

    More time to improve?...So how long do you expect parents to wait? The kids need quality schools now. If the referendum isn't enough and you still have a problem with school choice maybe your issues are a lil deeper...say the expansion of private schooling perhaps?


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