Boots & Sabers

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0906, 11 Oct 14

Reflecting on the West Bend School Board’s Decision

Now that we have had a little time to cool off since the Great Two-School Kerfuffle at the West Bend School Board, I am pretty pleased with the whole episode. It was a case of representative government actually working correctly.

To review, here’s what happened… a school board member wanted the board to consider the idea of combining West Bend’s two high schools, which occupy the same building, into one high school. The school board went through a process to inform the public of the pros and cons of combining the schools and gather public input. They held information sessions, allowed public input at a school board meeting, conducted a survey, put information on the web site and snail mail, and invited public input in the form of citizens contacting the school board members.

In the end, despite the indication that several of the school board members had leaned toward combining the schools, they voted unanimously for the status quo of two high schools. Without an overly compelling reason to change the high school configuration and with the lopsided public input in favor of keeping two schools, the school board followed the wishes of the citizens.

Representative government worked.

Despite the fact that I was in favor of combining the high schools, I am happy to see that the school board engaged in a rational decision-making process that worked to enact the wishes of the majority of the citizens who chose to speak up. There are times when the evidence is overwhelming that a government should take an action against the public’s will, but those situations are rare. In this case, there were valid arguments on both sides of the issue and the board went with public opinion.



0906, 11 October 2014


  1. purplepenquin

    “Representative government worked”

    Exactly. Like you just said….maybe not always the way we want it to, but representative government usually does work. Not always perfectly but better than anything else that has been tried so far.

    So, with that in mind, I have to ask: Why are you trying to take away representative government when it comes to funding schools? The voucher program you are constantly trying to expand takes away my voice…my representation…of how my tax dollars are going to be used and spent in regards to local education.

    Honestly, and I’m not trying to be snarky, I don’t understand how someone can claim to be in favor of both democracy and school vouchers. Those vouchers are nothing more than taxation without representation, and am pretty sure our founding fathers would have something to say about THAT whole concept.

  2. Owen

    It’s a fair question, but you are conflating the means of funding with the means of production. With school vouchers the taxpayers have the power through their representative government to choose to spend the money for education to a particular school. There are schools kicked out of the voucher program all of the time for not meeting DPI’s standards, and that’s a good thing. What the voucher does not do is give the taxpayers the right to dictate the minutia of the means of producing the education.

    The same is true all over government. The taxpayers pay to fund roads but often use private contractors to do the work. The government pays for health care but use private health care providers to provide the care. The taxpayers pay for food stamps but the recipients purchase their food from private companies.

    All school vouchers do is set up the same standards as so many other government programs. The taxpayers are paying for a product – education – that can be provided by private enterprises. If we were to take your supposition that this constitutes taxation without representation, then you should also be arguing for people to only be able to use food stamps at government stores, use medicaid and medicare at government health care facilities, and all roads be built by government employees.

  3. Kevin Scheunemann

    “The voucher program you are constantly trying to expand takes away my voice…my representation…of how my tax dollars are going to be used and spent in regards to local education.”

    In other words, you view education as a one size fits all stamp.

    Many parents consider educating the Spirit, for this life and eternity, thee top priority for every aspect of their children’s education…an aspect liberal, godless, public schools fail horrendously at.

    In fact, in that aspect alone, public schools are a failure. I see some good kids thrive at public schools despite the lack of spiritual education. However, I also see a lot of starvation of the Spirit of kids who badly need that type of education….a type of education public schools, thanks to liberal censorship, cannot provide.

    That alone is why vouchers are in great demand.

    If we don’t educate the Spirit, have we even come anywhere close to educating the children?

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