In traveling the state for the Comptroller primary race, naturally the issue of property taxes came up. In that discussion, was also public school finance and included “money follows the child”. To my surprise, many homeschoolers vehemently opposed the concept of “money follows the child.” I had incorrectly assumed that Homeschoolers and Private Schools would automatically be in favor of such a plan.
This got me to thinking. There are two inequities in our school district financing:
1. Parents who homeschool or send their children to private school
2. Homeowners who do not have any children enrolled in the district.
a. Older couples whose children have grown
b. Others starting out their families or just childless
Homeschoolers have a very real and deep seated distrust that any funding from the state as in “money follows the child” will lead to guidelines, restrictions and mandates. Their mistrust is not unreasonable. Even those who advocate for the program will then say “that is not so unreasonable a request”. The lead phrase that will most certainly lead to stricter and stricter adherence requirements. Some argue that these individuals can just refuse the money. This too is a completely unfair component to lay into the foundation of a program to bring some equity and accountability to our public school funding.
Parents who find alternative sources to deliver their child’s education, deserve some relief from the school district property taxes. In utilizing these alternatives to public education, their child is no longer using school district resources and the state is relieved of funding them.
The challenge then is a format that can deliver tax relief without strings attached?
This could be a No Child in District Tax Exemption from school district property taxes. Structured like a Homestead Exemption, it would deliver a reduction in the taxable value of a Homestead for people who do not have a child enrolled in a school within the district. It would be effective for Homeschoolers, Private Schoolers and those whose children may have gone through the school district but have graduated and no longer have children in the district.
This method takes the burden of administration off the state and puts its in the hands of the individual who is claiming they qualify for the exemption and the school district to verify it.
This plan is in a conceptual phase with other issues to be analyzed. First step, get it presented and start the discussion to make it happen.
TC Research Institute
Here is your Quick Guide to Texas Public Education players.
TEA, Texas Education Agency
TASB, Texas Association of School Boards
TASA, Texas Association of School Administrators
SBOE. State Board of Education)
Sadly, some parents must live with whatever these bureaucrats derive. These parents are left with decisions as to whether they can allow their children to remain under such tutelage. A tutelage diametrically opposed to their faith, their patriotism and their principles. Such is the morass of Texas Public Education.
The issue for ALL Texans is now that our public education is in this condition, what course of action can parents take? Parents of school children are left to choose, avail themselves to the public education or look to alternatives in private schools or home schools. That is, those parents fortunate enough to have the luxury of a choice. But what about our fellow Texans in a poverty of choices? Their only option is the public school system regardless of the values, the instruction or even the self-worth that seems to dominate current public education instruction debates. This whole curricula under review is nothing but a dispiriting agenda stripping young minds of pride in their country, its founding and our special position in the world. What are the options for these parents?
It only gets worse for Texas. Because those who can afford it, find alternatives for their child’s education and leave. The public schools continue to see their enrollment decrease (Houston ISD is seeing just such deterioration). Leaving those relegated to the public education system at the behest of decisions made by bureaucrats. Bureaucrats who seemingly hold them in disdain. How else can one explain this completely dispiriting curriculum? Stripping pride, self-worth and values of self-initiative from a child. And these bureaucrats have the temerity to ask why are child suicides increasing?
The answer isn’t an indoctrination of some modern mores of child equalization and grotesque destruction of their innocence. Those wanting such instruction for their child are the ones who should be taking their children out of the public schools to expose their children to whatever behaviors they choose. That is not the instruction set desired by most parents. We know this because enrollment in public education in Texas is down or not keeping pace with the growth in population.
The answer is a solid foundation of language, mathematics, science, history that reveals the greatness of their country. That defines how their country has overcome evils and triumphed in glorious achievements for the world. Insure a healthy appreciation for the vast creative arts. The kind of foundation the rest of the world follows to indoctrinate their youth. That is foundation Texas had at one time. That is until this current administration of appointees has brought in all this extraneous unnecessary curricula of sexual indoctrination.