Intense, Focused Emphasis on the Public Common School System by the State is the Only Way to Economically Expand Educational Opportunities and Quality of Education and to Increase the Education Level of the Citizenry
Tax support for private alternatives for education is not only fiscally inefficient; it will result in lowering the literacy rate and the occupational skills of the general public.
It is grossly inefficient for the state to charter private education ventures—charter schools and vouchers. In 1912, Ohioans passed a constitutional provision—Article VI, Section 3—requiring the state to organize, administer, and control the state common school system. The purpose of the amendment was to improve the system fiscally and academically. In that era there were in the range of 3000 school districts, including 10,000 one-room school buildings. That delivery system was economically inefficient and academically challenging. The enabling legislation to the 1912 amendment demanded improvement in curriculum, teacher education, education materials and reorganization of school districts into larger, more efficient and educationally-effective units.
From 1912 to 1976, all one-room buildings were closed and 617 school districts replaced the 3000 districts. By 1976, Ohio was on the trajectory of providing special education and vocational education opportunities for all students needing such services via joint ventures among school districts.
Beginning in the late 1990’s, the chartering of 600 privately-operated charter schools (half of which have closed) and voucher schemes plunged state education programming into a chaotic educational environment antithetical to the constitutional requirements of Article VI, Sections 2 and 3. The requirements of “thorough and efficient” and “organization, administration and control” are currently scattered to the wind.
It took the state 7 to 8 decades to achieve efficiency and education improvement, only to reverse course in the late 1990’s.
The privatization tactics have been costly and have dumbed-down educational opportunities. Further erosion of the public common school via vouchers will result in a more chaotic educational environment and, eventually, lower literacy rates and skill sets for workers.
The voucher campaigners have the goal of universal vouchers, which will ultimately destroy public school districts.
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VOUCHERS HURT OHIO