TERRE HAUTE —
There have always been private schools.
Parents who wanted a religious dimension to a child’s education paid taxes for public schools and then tuition for the special emphasis they wanted. The well-to-do opted for “finishing schools” or “prep schools” or “boarding schools,” all of which involved tuition over and above taxes paid to support public schools.
Public schools, by definition, are for the benefit of the public. All children, regardless of parental income, are given the same chance for an education. It is for the benefit of society that some sort of equal opportunity be offered. With an extra dollop of ambition and infinite interest in learning, even the poorest may achieve success.
The difference between the private schools I knew in my youth and the charter schools of today seems to be that government wants to use public money to subsidize private education. They tell us that education should be a matter of choice. Private education has always been a matter of choice and regardless of what name you choose to call them, charter schools are simply another form of private education.
It has been a tradition of democratic societies to support public education for the good of society. Those who have no children of school age — even those who have never had children at all — have pitched in to see that the next generation is educated to the point that they can be gainfully employed and become contributing members in their cities, their states and their country. In a broader sense, they become contributors to the welfare of people the world over.
In the dark ages when I was passing through a teachers college, we were taught that optimum educational advantage for children in our classrooms depended upon a class size of no more than 20 kids — 18 was better, but 20 was acceptable. It is often twice that today.
If class size is the lure of charter schools, why not give the proposed tuition kickback to the public schools so they can reduce class size? If the attraction is providing enrichment classes in music and art and drama, why are we cutting these classes from public schools to reduce costs?
If we know what makes charter schools “better” than public schools, why not mandate those attractions and fund them? Heaven knows government at all levels has raised education mandates to an art form.
And if we are going to subsidize education through charter schools, doesn’t it make sense to use that subsidy in the schools we already have?
Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send e-mail to email@example.com.
TERRE HAUTE —
There have always been private schools.
- Liz Ciancone
LIZ CIANCONE: We’re not only ones ready for springtime
During the most recent of our numerous descents into polar temperatures, I was astounded to see a dozen or more robins up to their ankles in snow. They were fluffed out to about twice their normal size. I suppose that was an effort to provide a bit of feathered insulation against the cold.
LIZ CIANCONE: Antiques show better than any modern programs
I’m not a big fan of television.
LIZ CIANCONE: Preference wins over etiquette every time
It’s a source of amusement to me when I read about the trivia which concerns some folks.
LIZ CIANCONE: Valentine’s more fun when we were young
I, for one, am glad that it’s over and I have a year before I’m asked to buy a goodie for my valentine.
LIZ CIANCONE: Why do we bother that rodent on a cold day?
I have a bone to pick with Punxsutawney Phil. I may have to get in line or take a number, but I am willing to wait it out.
LIZ CIANCONE: Few can top the tale of 18 cats
I joined the other ladies at the round table at the Sports Center the other morning, and someone asked Frieda about her cats.
LIZ CIANCONE: Building a career tapping a keyboard
I wish I had a dollar for every time an adult asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
LIZ CIANCONE: How can we stop the flow of unwanted postal mail?
I eagerly await a sign-up for something similar to the do-not-call list. I want a “do-not-mail” list.
Liz Ciancone: When it couldn’t get any worse
We all have our “why me?” days. I’ve had what I hope is my yearly quota, beginning with Thanksgiving.
LIZ CIANCONE: Once again we observe one small step in time
My Best Friend and I like to get up early. Naturally, if we are to log the recommended eight hours of sleep, this necessitates an early-to-bed routine.
LIZ CIANCONE: Ready or not, big day has arrived
It’s about this time every winter when greetings cease to be “Merry Christmas” with the added question, “Are you all ready for the big day?”
LIZ CIANCONE: Nothing like the silence of a winter snowfall
I’m not a big fan of cold and snow, but …
MS. TAKES: Important date passes by without much notice
Recently we were asked to share our memories of the Kennedy assassination. Folks were interviewed for television or radio, or were asked to recall exactly what they were doing when they got word that our president had been murdered.
MS. TAKES: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of. Our friend, Bill, stopped by our table to offer holiday felicitations and the conversation turned, as it often does this time of year, to Christmas.
LIZ CIANCONE: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of.
LIZ CIANCONE: Mourning a death is a personal exercise
One does not properly “celebrate” an assassination, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be reminded that there are a lot of nuts out there. Coverage this past week of the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination still has the power to disturb, but all the theories won’t undo the facts.
LIZ CIANCONE: The greatest invention ever? Frozen orange juice
We were talking the other day and someone posed the question: “What do you think has been the greatest invention of all time?”
LIZ CIANCONE: Even mild forecast can give you the shivers
The local weather report the other evening included a bit of folklore. Our weather guru said that the story is that if snakes have not crawled off to winter quarters by late October, we were in for a mild winter.
LIZ CIANCONE: Extra hour gives more time to reset all the clocks
At the risk of becoming a bore, I really hate daylight saving time.
LIZ CIANCONE: Baseball’s cool days equal cold hard cash
I was driving to the grocery the other day and was startled when a few ice crystals rattled against the windshield.
LIZ CIANCONE: What songs are on your personal hit parade?
Is it possible that you could rattle off your 10 or 12 favorite recordings of all time on the spur of the moment?
LIZ CIANCONE: Finding a little quiet time harder than ever
Two things I especially miss about living in a small town like Yorkville are the quiet and the dark. Both offered an opportunity for quality quiet time to just think.
LIZ CIANCONE: If only we could see next fad coming
I’ve never claimed to be a smart investor. In my defense, I would need a crystal ball, or a double deck of tarot cards, or maybe a Ouija board to anticipate what gadget or fad would be the next to tweak the public fancy and earn me a million dollars.
LIZ CIANCONE: Congress deserves to be fired for actions
I don’t like to write about politics. I’m not interested in trying to convert anyone to my preference, and hope the same courtesy will be extended to me.
LIZ CIANCONE: Choosing a wedding date is personal
It wasn’t that long ago when I sat at the “society desk” at The Tribune-Star. I learned that August was second only to June as the favored month for weddings. And, every so often, there is a program of providers of everything from flowers to wedding cakes and gowns. I suppose this is to assure that the happy event will be done “properly.”
LIZ CIANCONE: Weather throws a wrinkle in the ironing
I’m convinced that Mother Nature is throwing me a curve ball — high and inside, at that.
LIZ CIANCONE: Game used ad slogans to craft good stories
Years ago I received a special game for Christmas.
LIZ CIANCONE: Today’s headlines, tomorrow’s history
Someone once said that a newspaper was a rough draft of history. It was probably Dr. Beatty, my favorite history professor.
LIZ CIANCONE: School supplies these days just don’t add up
School bells rang yesterday to begin a new school year. I really wish I was still of an age to trek back to that proverbial “little red schoolhouse.”
LIZ CIANCONE: Puzzles do make the best games
I come from a family of game players. Mom and Dad would pass the evening hours with a cribbage board sitting between them on a table.
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