Education drained without thought of harmful effects

First Posted: 2/5/2014

To the Editor

North Carolina state legislators decided to spend $10 million from the public education budget on Opportunity Grants to help lower income children attend private schools. A laudable goal, perhaps, but you have to wonder about possible negative consequences.

First of all, there’s plenty of proof that the way to improve education for poor students includes increasing standards and expectations, providing them with the tools and facilities they need, and providing teachers with the necessary planning time and training. This bill addresses none of this. It drains more money — $62 million total — from public education and worsens a system that within the past year has driven more than 12,000 teachers to quit teaching.

Worse, this legislation allows anyone to open a school in their home, whether or not they teach their own children. Instructors will only need a high-school diploma. No one else will know what’s being taught in these private home schools since there will, for all practical purposes, be no supervision. Home schools might promote jihadist propaganda or immoral behaviors with taxpayers footing the bill.

It’s hard to imagine how the state legislators and Gov. McCrory can think this bill will improve education in North Carolina. They certainly weren’t considering the negative consequences.

Richard Swart

Dobson, NC