The Washington County Insider was at the meeting of the Common Sense Citizens of Washington County on Thursday at which West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow gave an update on the city and on the West Bend School District Private Task Force, of which I am a member.
You can read the whole story here. Here’s the first of four video where he lays out how it started and what the scope is.
Given my kids attend faith based private schools, I am personally disconnected largely from many electrd, dysfunctional, public school boards.
As an outsider, I do observe this committee bringing some sanity to planning process.
I would, however, make one general suggestion. Instead of planning for declining enrollment and structuring a standard bureaucratic future for that… why don’t we voucher all the kids up instead, and allow the existing public schools (along with private schools) to compete for future funding? School Board can voucher up kids in district currently attending, allowing parental choice. Those schools that don’t get kids/vouchers, don’t get funding. Let market sort out schools/facilities worth saving. Given value of voucher, we could save 30-50% instantly vs. Per pupil spend now.
Just a market based idea. Going forward the voucher should dictate which schools need to be invested in. And voucher should be enough for competing school to plan and fund their own facility needs.
Just have WB district invest in vouchers, attached to each student, as only annual levy budget item. Everything else market decides. Isn’t it time to separate education and state?
While I agree that a pure voucher system is the best way to introduce competition and allow market forces to drive better educational outcomes for all of our kids, that is a state issue and can’t be enacted at the local level. Also, something like that was outside the limited scope of the task force. We are strictly looking at facilities in the aftermath of the most recent referendum.
It’s a shame, state level politicians will always get in the way of the true fix to gorging educational spending.
The other thing to consider is that even if a voucher would magically appear for every student – I predict the timeline for something like that would be 20+ years, there would be no infrastructure to absorb 5,000 to 6,000 students in this area, without a significant investment in new construction (which voucher funding would not cover). Assuming WBSD would be in a position to compete to retain and attract voucher students, that might not be possible without some investment in existing or new facilities. Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School just did an addition that increases capacity, and they raised $4,000,000 in donations to do that. Not so sure that the donor class in this area could raise enough to meet the facility needs of 5,000 students. Might make more sense to leverage the investment that we have in existing public facilities. Hopefully the task force will give clarification to what is needed, as well as show some options on how to move forward.
The thing you fail to consider is: what private sector did for $4 million, would easily be $20 million through school district for same project.
Donors gave because they care about a values oriented Christian education choice.
That is a good thing.
If the godless, 19th century public school model can’t get passionate, voluntary, community support like that, shouldn’t we consider discontinuing that model? Public schools have evolved from being values driven institutions to a system where many values that made this country great are verboten to be even spoke of on school grounds. That is a very broken system.
Verboten? Careful, you’re adopting the speech patterns of undocumented immigrants.
Values that made this country great. Care to pin that down? A year? Some examples? Or is that just vague hand-waving and dog-whistling?
And the private sector doing something at a fifth of the price, where’d you get that example?