Speak Out: Public education is the equalizer
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Jul 12, 2013 | 1994 views |  0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Parents want their children to attend safe, nurturing and high expectations schools. The current movement in America to influence parents to remove their children from public schools and enroll them in for-profit schools is deceptive. Many are financed at the taxpayer’s expense. Studies show that costly private schools do not produce any better educational results than free public schools. The for-profit schools are growing like wild mushrooms in the countryside.

Education in the for-profit schools operates on a business/industry model. Quarterly profits are sometimes linked to bonuses for chief executive officers. Teachers’ salaries are often less than public schools’ employees. The for-profit schools are limited in their course offerings.

Readying students for the 21st century jobs and steering non-college bound students towards a career-tech curriculum is a focal point of public education in school districts throughout Alabama and the United States. Public education provides for the academic, behavioral and social development of students. Students in Alabama’s public high schools are privileged to their choice of a four-year career educational plan. Students are assigned school guidance counselors to monitor and steer them on their path to graduation.

Moreover, the labeling of some schools in Alabama as “failing schools” is another ploy to divert taxpayers’ dollars to private education. The establishment of for-profit schools in the Black Belt region of Alabama would be devastating to public schools in the area. Parents should make themselves fully knowledgeable of the history of a corporate giant that finances a for-profit school.

The disappearing of public education in America will cripple the career opportunities for children from low-income families and some middle income families. The tax base heavily depends on the middle income, and it is shrinking. A free public education in the land of opportunity slowly threatens to exist. Public schools are an economic equalizer.

The citizens of Selma, the state of Alabama and the nation should strongly oppose for-profit schools.

Gerald Shirley
Superintendent
Selma City Schools
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Speak Out: Public education is the equalizer by The Anniston Star Editorial Board

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