Trenton, NJ – 800 Lakewood Students Come Out to Support Scholarships For Private Schools [video]


    Lakewood community amongst the crowd Photo Credit Thelakewoodscoop.comTrenton, NJ – A bill that would use taxpayer money to send low income students to private, charter or better performing public schools statewide drew a crowd of supporters and opponents so big in Trenton that lawmakers had to move their tables outside to conduct their hearing.

    “It’s an utter disgrace,” shouted one opponent, “We can’t hear anything.”

    “Every student is entitled to a thorough and quality education”, remarked a Rabbi from Lakewood who came 800 strong to support school choice.

    “I’ve been fighting for my children for years to get quality education” said Danielle Coleman of Newark, who found it absurd that her son was getting straight A’s in first through 5th grade but could not read.

    Governor Chris Christie says School Choice scholarships will create competition and put pressure on failing schools to perform.

    205 of New Jersey’s public schools are chronically failing in Camden, Trenton, and Newark.

    “Where you go to school, where you have hope and ambition to learn should not be subject to how much money your parent’s make.” said Christie.

    Opponents argue School Choice scholarships will further dismantle and steal much needed money from the public school system.

    “Funding will be taken away from my system. We are already severely underfunded by the governor’s cuts,” said Teacer Irene Gilman of Ocean Township High School.

    Families of four earning less than $55,000 annually could apply for the scholarships, the first year it would enable 2,500 to 3,800 to get School Choice programs & funding.

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    1. Way to go Christie, close those Public School, there is nothing the private sector cannot do as good.

      Let the parent enroll their kid to any qualified private school.

    2. It works in Milwaukee, WI with 25,000 students. Sure, in the beginning there were some bad apple schools. But they’ve been weeded out, and cream schools are rising to the top.

      My kids’ “choice school” test results surpassed the public school’s, and they only learn secular studies a few hours a day. And some black schools are doing groundbreaking work for 50% of the cost per student that the public school system spends.

      • Whoever said it isn’t? Gov’t-sponsored education is socialism, and it shouldn’t exist, but it’s got a long history and is very entrenched, so it’s impossible to get rid of; the best we can hope to do is make it more efficient and equitable, and get gov’t out of actually providing the service. Which is all the more reason to stop the government from turning medicine into the same mess that education is.

        • Education is “You get what you pay for”; in the parts of New Jersey where the funding is low (due to poverty/lower tax rates), like Newark, Camden, Trenton, presumably Lakewood, the education isn’t so good.

          In places like Livingston, Millburn, Princeton, Montgomery, though, the education in the public schools is superb, because they spend quite a bit on the schools (and thus have high property taxes)

          • That is so far from the truth it’s ridiculous. If there’s one thing the history of public schooling has shown it’s that spending has no relationship at all to outcomes. You do *not* get what you pay for. No matter how much money you throw into a system, you will not get more than you would have got without it. Decreasing class sizes doesn’t improve outcomes either. The only way to improve schooling is to privatise the entire system; failing that, privatise as much of it as possible, by enabling parents to escape from the public system, thus starving it of funds.

            • And if you privatized the entire system, how do you suspect poor people are going to be able to send their children to school? Even at the barest minimum, it costs $5000 per child to run a school. As members of the Jewish community we are lucky enough to belong to a world in which people are always stepping in to subsidize the tuition of families that cannot afford it. This type of close-knit communal cohesion does not exist in rural Alabama, and there is no way a poor or even working-class family would be able to afford an extra 10 grand for their two children per year. Potentially, that would mean millions of kids on the streets with no formal education while their parents are away at work (See India) . Starving government funds for all schooling — whether public or private — may save you some money on property taxes, but it will also have unintended consequences you probably haven’t given much thought to.

            • Actually this is not the case; the few states such as Connecticut that decided to substantially increase public school funding found that better outcomes resulted.

            • That is garbage. EVERY state has substantially increased its spending on education over the past few decades, and EVERY state has shown that spending does not correlate with results.

            • What increased taxes? The whole point of vouchers is that the money comes from the school board that has the obligation to pay for the child’s schooling. It’s not extra money. So there’s no reason taxes should increase.

      • It certainly is…so you can use the government’s “success” at public education as an idea as to what health care would look like if it, indeed, became government controlled.

        • Right on!The government health insurance is nothing compared to the private system. Our nj public school system is a farce with the unions and teachers just looking at their fat pensions. However, it sounds like this bill wouldn’t help too many people. We have tens of thousands of kids in the private sector yet they can only help a few thousand.

        • Huh? Who cares who’s running what. Money is being redistributed from one person to another by way of a centralized governing authority be it local, state, or federal. The principle stays the same. Additionally, the private sector plays middle-man for all Medicare policies and will do so for all “exchanges” insurance policies in the future.

          • That is so bizarre. Where have you been hiding for the last few decades? Have you never heard of public choice theory? “Who cares who’s running what”?! It’s been established beyond doubt that government is an inferior provider of *anything*. No matter what it is, the private sector will do it better and more efficiently than the public sector will. The political process is subject to capture by unions, with the result that the public sector serves the interest of its own employees, not that of the public.

            • Thanks for dodging the issue. I don’t disagree that the private sector does a better job at running things than the government, I simply suggested that the principle of redistributing wealth by way of a centralized government, is no less a form of socialism than a government administered program. If the government is taxing me and buying an insurance policy for a poor person through Aetna, you are still redistributing wealth.

            • Public choice theory has not been shown to be backed up by empirical facts. The government is a more efficient provider of education, transportation, health insurance, and energy services, just to name four.

            • Surely you jest. Except that knowing you, you’re not; you really mean it, and expect others to believe it. It would be difficult to come up with a more ridiculous statement. “The moon is made of green cheese” is less ridiculous than this one.

    3. you dont understand . Privatizing means giving people vouchers in a reasonable tuition amount and let them go to a private school of their choice A private school can do for 7000 what a public school charges 15000 for .

      • I understand perfectly well. “Giving people vouchers” is no less a form of socialism than the current public school system, which is precisely my point. The vouchers would be paid for disproportionately by wealthy property owners, thus redistributing wealth from one segment of society to another. If you really were opposed to socialism, you would be opposed to all forms of public funding for education.

      • Those numbers are very deceptive. You are forgetting that the public school average includes providing for the special education needs of its students, including students sent to private schools, like special schools with one on one care for severely autistic children or children with other serious disabilities. Often districts must pay $60,000 or more for special needs children. That skews the average cost per pupil. The $7,000/year private school is not providing those services.

    4. The point many posters are missing and why vouchers and other similar schemes haven’t gained popular support, is that most middle/upper middle class suburban Americans don’t learn about public education from alarmist reports on the worst schools, they know them from themselves and their kids, and they love them.

      Its not just that the education is good and comprehensive (and free, albeit paid for out of local taxes) — but public schools are the essential vehicle of the American promise. Suburban public schools are where the American idea is created — integrated, diverse, community connected, bonded by sports and family ties. Its actually very socialist — but for pragmatic Americans its socialism that works so has therefore transmuted into a central element of American life.

    5. Wait a minute! “A quality secular education” in Lakewood? Are you kidding! This has nothing to do with quality secular eucation, but is just a money grab of NJ taxpayer $$$$ (which Lakewood residents probably do not add much to)

      I wonder- Did the good Rabbi ask a sheylah if 800 children’s bitul torah was OK before he set out to demonstrate for his $$$ cause in Trenton?


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