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Out of the Blue

I experienced something odd last night for the first time ever. I woke up from a dream, only to later wake up again, as I was dreaming I was having a dream. There's nothing to make this impossible, but I previously had assumed this was something that only happens in the movies. I should do a quick check to see if I can fly... maybe it'll turn out that I'm Neo.

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20. Re: Out of the Blue Jun 4, 2014, 13:57 jdreyer
Pigeon wrote on Jun 4, 2014, 11:43:
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jun 4, 2014, 11:18:
Not a fan of Slate, but found this article about education and cost per child interesting....

Shit man, give me 26k a year per child, I will educate 4 children in my home, and I bet they score better than the average.....M-F, 8am-3pm, hell, I'll even car pool them from their home to my house to teach them. They will be educated, intelligent, in shape, knowledgeable about the world, etc etc etc.

I will even do it for the US average of 11k per student. Give me.....8 kids, all the same age. Be a fun experiment.

Pretty damn good argument for a voucher program....


It would be nice to know exactly how that number is calculated. Is it just based on the cost of running a school, or is it the overall cost from federal level bureaucrats all the way to the hair nets for lunch ladies? Some of the federal and state level bureaucracy cost could also encompass private schools as they do need have some level of government regulation.

Still 26k a year is a lot, I'm sure there's a lot of wasteful spending and unnecessary cogs in the machine that inflate that cost. It seems to be a systemic problem not just with schools but pretty much everything, government run or not.

1. It's Newark, NJ, so there's going to be graft and corruption. The article says they have 1 administrator for every six students, so you know something fishy is going on. But it's a classic clickbait title, trying to infer the worst example is somehow the national average by not providing context.

2. In Bats' state of MN, the cost per child is around $10,600, which is around the national average. And while you could think, "Yeah, 10 students = 110K, I could work for that," there are a lot of costs involved in schooling: buildings, land, electricity, maintenance, training, laws and regulations that must be adhered to, etc. and all that costs money.

3. There's a movement afoot to privatize schooling using for-profit companies. In both AZ and FL, two states that have some of the highest rates of voucher schools, both have federal investigations on going into major voucher system abuse by these private companies. These companies spend millions lobbying politicians to get public funds, then they skim off the top and skimp on the students. There's actually less accountability and oversight than for public schools, since these companies fall outside the purview of the DoE and are only accountable to shareholders. Unlike private schools (all of which around here charge $15-20K per year), people in these areas often only have the choice of the for-profit school. Alternatives can often be too far away to attend.

Voucher schools could work (I'm not opposed out of hand, and there seemed to be good results in Milwaukee), but would have to be highly regulated, and right now it's not in most places. Similar to healthcare, where you don't really have a choice of whether or not you get it, and don't have many options, school is something every child must attend by law, so making sure those options are high quality is important. There are a lot of problems with public schools, but I'd hate to see that system replaced by a worse one.
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