Stam lies about pseudo-voucher program

He must have been a telemarketer in a previous life:

"It is a beginning and it will be funded by corporations that believe in educational access for everyone," Stam told several hundred people attending the rally. "It will not cost the state money; it saves the taxpayers money while at the same time providing tens of thousands of scholarships for children whose families earn, for a family of four, up to about $50,000 a year."

It most certainly will cost the state money. Right out of the revenue coffers and into the hands of private schools:

The New York Times reported Tuesday that tuition tax credit programs have been used to expand the payrolls of the nonprofit scholarship groups and religious views in the classroom. The scholarship programs in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island this year sent $343 million that would have gone into state budgets to pay for private school tuition for nearly 129,000 students, according to the advocacy group Alliance for School Choice.

Here's a good rule of thumb for confused lawmakers like Stam: If you feel the need to lie about a program to generate support, said program is most likely not in the public's interest.

Comments

Here's a simple math problem....

If the state spends $5,162 per student (and they do - http://bit.ly/KyYmtP), and the scholarship is limited at $4,000; then it appears that the state does in fact save $1,162 per scholarship. Call me old-fashioned, but I think simple subtraction solves that.

So again, where is the lie? If you're saying that the program uses "government money," then I fear your interpretation is that any money - anywhere - would belong to the government. The SCOTUS clearly ruled in favor of this type of program by ruling that sort of thinking out in the Winn v. Garriott decision (available here http://bit.ly/JIaKNR) from 2011.

In the absence of deep budget cuts,

that math might make sense. But when you've already cut to the bone, swelling class sizes to the breaking point, taking one student out of the class and sending him/her to a private school isn't going to allow for more budget cuts. Which is what you would need if you wanted to offset that $5,162.

As far as my interpretation vs your interpretation of the reallocation of projected and legal revenues (which is what this is), I have a feeling our basic understanding is the same, but one of us is trying to be a little clever. To illustrate what I'm implying, here's Justice Kagan from your link:

Our taxpayer standing cases have declined to distinguish between appropriations and tax expenditures for a simple reason: Here, as in many contexts, the distinction is one in search of a difference. To begin to see why, consider an example far afield from Flast and, indeed, from religion. Imagine that the Federal Government decides it should pay hundreds of billions of dollars to insolvent banks in the midst of a financial crisis. Suppose, too, that many millions of taxpayers oppose this bailout on the ground (whether right or wrong is immaterial) that it uses their hard-earned money to reward irresponsible business behavior. In the face of this hostility, some Members of Congress make the following proposal: Rather than give the money to banks via appropriations, the Government will allow banks to subtract the exact same amount from the tax bill they would otherwise have to pay to the U. S. Treasury. Would this proposal calm the furor? Or would most taxpayers respond by saying that a subsidy is a subsidy (or a bailout is a bailout), whether accomplished by the one means or by the other? Surely the latter; indeed, we would think the less of our countrymen if they failed to see through this cynical proposal.

The only difference between Kagan's example and this scholarship proposal are the entities who benefit, namely the third party (private schools).

cut to the bone

Protestations to the contrary, I'm not sure that term hasn't been over-used. Class sizes in the 1960s were huge compared to those of today and today's decline in education began well after the '60s. Then there is the practice of school districts of hiring large numbers of consultants, administrative staff, and other non-teachers. In 2008, a team of researchers from UNC and East Carolina acting for a commission started by then-Governor Mike Easley, concluded after two years of study that not surprisingly, high schools are not using their funding to maximize achievement for all students. Personally, I find that conclusion to be ambiguous but it does suggest that there is either a surplus of funding available for the state's educational obligations or that we're finally at appropriate funding levels. I'd still bet on the former.

How much time do you spend in a school?

Because this ...

... there is either a surplus of funding available for the state's educational obligations or that we're finally at appropriate funding levels. I'd still bet on the former.

... is so full of bovine scatology that you can't possibly be spending any meaningful time in a school. Where do I start? ... How about no raises for teachers in 4 years, the State has actually gone into our pockets 3 times so we are actually negative pay over the last few years ... no textbook money for the same time span ... new Common Core curriculum coming next year and (again) no money for new materials to match the new methods, ... my county, Person, will have to revert 1.7 million dollars to the state in June. You see the GA giveth in August and taketh away in June. It's so they can say when budgets are approved (and prior to elections) that they "have fully funded Education" or some such nonsense, but then school systems statewide are forced to revert a certain amount back to the State. My high school had to use what a part of what little instructional money we do have to cover postage last week. We are scrambling for friggin' Postage, and you think " ... there's a surplus of funding available"!!?? Little ole 1 high school Person County has lost over 100 educators over the last few years.

A surplus!? You are out of your mind.

anti gerrymandering petition can be found at ... http://wh.gov/iaUnX

I average 30 students a class

I average 30 students a class now. Our floors are filthy because the custotial staff has been cut from 6 and a half, to four. The school is at 150% of capacity. There are only two APs for a school of over 1200. The media center (libaray) has a staff of one. Copying is rationed to the point that we shrink everything down to half size to get two pages each side. The computer carts (one for every 400) are so worn out and outdated few of us bother to even check them out anymore. Two of the three computer labs (that is one for every 400 students as well)contain computers so old they barely run. The list goes on and on.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

By some alchemical process,

By some alchemical process, you succeeded in converting my comments to mean something entirely different. I'm not clear on why you think these conclusions came from me, rather than the UNC-ECU study group to which I referred.

Your use of the first person made me think ...

... they were your conclusions.

I find that conclusion to be ambiguous but it does suggest that there is either a surplus of funding available for the state's educational obligations or that we're finally at appropriate funding levels. I'd still bet on the former.

Silly me.

anti gerrymandering petition can be found at ... http://wh.gov/iaUnX

THAT is a speculation, based

THAT is a speculation, based on a conclusions of someone else, and operating on the probability that a government entity doesn't tend to historically operate at peak fiscal efficiency. OK, I give up, you got me. If argumentative reasoning and writing analysis isn't taught at this school you spend so much time at, maybe it IS underfunded.

Wait, wait, I want to play the pompous ass game ...

So do you know the difference between 1st, 2nd and 3rd person???? Gee when you use first person do you realize that people might think you are refering to you???
Do you often pontificate on topics of which you have no direct knowledge or experience??? Do you often go straight to gutless, anonymous, indirect and snide ad hominen attacks when you get called on pontificating on topics on which you have no direct knowledge or experience???

Do you get that not only do you insult me and my school, but you denigrate teachers and educators everywhere with your callous attempts at belittlement???

A big part of the problem with education is people like YOU. Walk a freakin' mile ... then comment.

anti gerrymandering petition can be found at ... http://wh.gov/iaUnX

Limited study

If you're going to reference a study to support an argument you should at least provide a link to it. To my knowledge the study was an evaluation of a specific supplemental program in certain NC counties, namely the Disadvantaged Student Supplemental Fund, a pilot program in 16 of the state’s most educationally disadvantaged districts.