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Commodification of Education Leaves Students and Taxpayers Strapped

A new school is being built in your neighborhood.  It’s an exciting time, knowing they will have the latest technology, new teachers and even a soccer field.  You have paid your taxes for years as your parents before you in the same neighborhood. It feels like the American Dream that your kids will finally get the education you have always paid for.  Then Boom! You find out it’s a charter school and you will be placed on a waiting list for your child to get a desk. What? Yes, this is the scenario across America. Charter schools disrupt the chain of American distributive goods while endangering the taxation for representation domain of American lives leaving our children’s resource strapped.  

Distributive Goods Logistics

Our Founding Fathers and the leaders since established education as a distributive good meaning it must be equal, shared to all and free.  Brown v. Board of Ed further established racial desegregation inline with the needs of distributive goods intentions. Schools, besides any other government entities, must be open to all Americans since they derive from taxpayers fees.  These schools must also accept any students within a certain vicinity-Chicago calls them neighborhood schools with defined boundaries. If the immediate taxpayers pay for the school then it is free and open to their children. Charter school funding derives from the state and local taxes at a collective 61%.  Yes, the state still pays a per pupil fund for these corporate schools which wait listed your children.  The disruption of entitled distributive goods creates an illegal commodification of your taxes. Charter schools must open their doors for children in the direct vicinity of the majority of taxes to remain a legal distributive good of the American taxpayer.  It’s not first come first serve, it’s we pay, we get served.

Anti-American Revolution In The Schools

James Otis, a fiery lawyer in the Colonial times, popularized the statement, “No Taxation Without Representation” in 1764.  Yes, we all know what happened next-the Boston Tea Party and eventually the Revolutionary War. The Stamp Act made America.  Charter schools are an indirect violation of the founding of this country. It’s more like “no taxation without education”. State anti-charter advocates are winning cases across the US since charter schools derive their funding from taxpayers while these same payees are denied educational representation in the school through rejection of students.  A group of activists won a Washington State Supreme Court ruling that charter schools must open doors for all students since state funding made them “common schools”.  Mississippi is still challenging the diversion of direct tax monies to charter schools that limit local children from attendance. The federal government needs to employ distributive goods history to create a mandate that all schools, K-12, must be free and open to surrounding citizens.  Just like the little signs in the stores say “if you break it, you buy it” so we must enforce “if we pay for it, it’s ours”.

A Dollar A Day Keeps The Resources Away

The goal of any school is to have the highest per pupil funding which creates a plethora of resources.  As technology changes in a minutes time, keeping 21st Century students abreast of major and even minor tech innovations is important.  As schools cram in over 30 students per classroom, teachers must have aides which cost. As school shootings continue to shake the very foundation of this country, security measures and guards must be added.  Per pupil funding includes more than just books, it’s the air conditioning, lunch ladies, building repair and more. Charter schools drain per pupil funding from common school students at a stark $1500 or more in California.   State constitutional amendments make charter school funding a priority as in Alaska where they are 100% federally and state funded.  The more we drain from common schools, the more resources we drain from our students and their futures.

Choices Aren’t Always Easy   

Parents are at a fork in the road between choices for their children’s future in education.  Even though public schools have undergone an immense renewal, over 50% of parents desire broader choices for enrollment. Vouchers for private schools are finding praise along with charter schools. It is dismaying since we know a majority of American students attend public schools.  A majority of our American future will have fewer resources to guide our country. The use of charters and vouchers will remain politically questionable as campaign contributions always find their way to a local politicians coiffers as well.  The future of America has been and always will be in leading edge educational opportunities for our children that charters definitively deny a majority. It’s either time we make a choice for a solidified school district or keep paying for everyone else’s better education.  Remember, “No Taxation Without Education”.

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