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Orlando Sentinel exposes Florida’s $1 billion school voucher scam

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posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 07:13 PM
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Not surprised about this at all. We have a religious fundamentalist in charge of the Department of Education who wants more vouchers for private schools while ignoring the needs of our public schools. What could go wrong?

The Orlando Sentinel did an amazing job exposing the voucher system being abused. With Betsy Devos in charge, the government will continue to hand out money to private schools with little oversight.

Needless to say the education system in the US continues to fall behind the rest of the developed world. The voucher system is an easy mark for clever folks to take advantage of government handouts while leaving the education of our youth behind.

www.rawstory.com...



The Orlando Sentinel is being praised for a months long investigation on Florida’s school voucher program, inspecting fifty percent more schools than state education officials inspected in all of last year.

The newspapers three-part, Schools Without Rules expose on the state’s nearly $1 billion tax credit scholarship program.

“That is what real journalism looks like — a team of journalists doing shoe-leather reporting, conducting the kind of inspections, investigations and interviews that even the state’s education officials don’t,” Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell explained. “This little-regulated system needs an overhaul. And the world needs more real journalists.”

Reporters Beth Kassab, Leslie Postal and Annie Martin reported that “private schools in Florida will collect nearly $1 billion in state-backed scholarships this year through a system so weakly regulated that some schools hire teachers without college degrees, hold classes in aging strip malls and falsify fire-safety and health records.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos refused to visit any public schools during an August trip to Florida. In March, DeVos joined President Donald Trump in touring a voucher school.



The Orlando Sentinel story:

www.orlandosentinel.com...




posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 07:21 PM
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I still want the choice of where to send my child with the money the state spends per child on education in this state.

As a parent, I am capable of visiting and making a decision on what school is capable of doing the job for myself. I do not need the state to do it for me.

If a parent does not do due diligence to ensure their children are being put into a good environment, then that's on them.



posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 07:25 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Agreed. But exposing 1 billion in waste and abuse is always a good thing.

School choice here in Nevada is kind of a misnomer. Especially in Northern Nevada where we are in the middle of a housing shortage, school shortage, teacher shortage, and medical shortage in both the VA and Private/Public hospitals.



posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 07:45 PM
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The major problem in Florida is private schools are not regulated. It is good that parents have options, but there are too many private schools who offer little in the way of education that are taking advantage of the program.



“The scholarships are good. The problem is the school,” said Edda Melendez, an Osceola County mother. “They need to start regulating the private schools.”



posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 07:50 PM
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Heck its 2017 and I'd be happy if my peanut allergy son could eat a school lunch. But for some reason its too hard for the school system to implement regulations other states have in effect. So he is one of how many that can never have a hot meal at school I know it sounds trivial but in reality its one of the major allergens out there and is a bit ridiculous considereing other states can do it...



posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 09:02 PM
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a reply to: jrod

The public schools in central New Jersey are excellent. The teachers are dedicated, hard working, and do an outstanding job. Some are better than others. But I am very happy with it. I wish my kids had better grades but that's probably on me not being a better parent.



posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 10:36 PM
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I live in Florida.

We looked into voucher/charter schools for our kids. And we were kind of put off by our findings.

It seemed that the voucher school teachers did not have degrees. Just teaching certificates. And the teachers were "in the process" of getting a teaching degree. Plus they did not have advanced classes. No gifted for example.

I guess this is hit or miss. I do have a friend that put his kids into a charter school that did have some excellent programs. Robotics? Pretty darn cool if you ask me.

I'm not sure why conservatives are advocating charter schools an not improving public schools. Either way that money is being given out via tax dollars.



posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 10:40 PM
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a reply to: jrod

I actually taught high school in Tampa recently for a short period of time-I was afraid for my life-police in the halls-kids cursing you out. After moving to Clearwater I was shocked at the number of private Christian schools, but I understand why.



posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 11:15 PM
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a reply to: Justso

I completely agree. The public schools in our areas are atrocious. I'm in the St. Pete area. Sent my son to military school here from Kindergarten through 12th grade. I even boarded him his senior year. Best choice I ever made. He received a NROTC Scholarship to college and is still in college working hard and being a responsible adult. We didn't have any issues such as those cited in the news article. I didn't have any vouchers although i know they had some students there on them. Instead, I worked two jobs to pay for it and received minimal financial aid help.
I'd never send a child to any public Florida school. They seem to get worse every year. The problem really isn't the schools or the teachers, in my opinion, but rather the environment/parental upbringing (or lack of) of the children. The lack in ability to discipline children or give them consequences they can learn from has also contributed to the detriment of Florida public schools.
That's why I loved military school for my son. Real discipline and real consequences he learned from!



posted on Oct, 22 2017 @ 11:35 PM
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a reply to: Tashie

I was shocked and so sad. Tampa is a ghetto; the parents are the problem-plus half the kids didn't speak English and they felt so lost and I really felt sorry for them.
Apparently, Clearwater has more private schools per square mile than any other place in the US.
Realtors told me that anyone that cared about their child did not send them to the public schools. Florida was also one of the first states to offer classes on the internet-now I know why.



posted on Oct, 23 2017 @ 12:00 AM
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And you are able to send 'your kid' where ever you want. But the taxpayers dollars support education for everyone not just your kid.

You want a religious education for your child - pay for it. Home school you kid. Pay your taxes.

I sent my kid to a private school because of the degraded education after ronnie raygun and prop 13 and I paid for it. But I still paid my taxes to ensure that ALL children have a basic education.

By your logic - I should be able to put all my tax money into the public school system or housing the homeless or caring for the elderly and not into technology that kills millions and subsidizes life killing chemicals.
edit on 23-10-2017 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 23 2017 @ 12:05 AM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
a reply to: ketsuko

Agreed. But exposing 1 billion in waste and abuse is always a good thing.

School choice here in Nevada is kind of a misnomer. Especially in Northern Nevada where we are in the middle of a housing shortage, school shortage, teacher shortage, and medical shortage in both the VA and Private/Public hospitals.


It would ease the strain on much needed human resources if Nevada didn't pander to illegals the way they do.



posted on Oct, 23 2017 @ 12:05 AM
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Vouchers and Charter (for profit) school are a major tactic for killing public Unions.



posted on Oct, 23 2017 @ 04:03 AM
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a reply to: jrod

I sent my kids to a private school,they are head and shoulders above others,avoided criminal activitys and are fine citizens,can't say that for public schools,race riots,gangsters etc,teaching socialistic crap,the education system is a big cash cow,hoping this will be exposed and corrected,it's way overbloated with BS



posted on Oct, 23 2017 @ 05:37 AM
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a reply to: Oldtimer2

That is not true of many public schools. It is highly dependent on the location.

What bothers me is we have a broken education system. While vouchers can do good, there is no regulation of the private schools accepting vouchers in Florida. Not only that, many private schools are faith based. I just do not think tax payer money should be used to fund faith based private schools. While most suporters of vouchers have no problem with Christian schools getting voucher money, I can promise there would be outrage if Muslims private schools were getting the kind of voucher money that Christian schools are.



posted on Oct, 23 2017 @ 09:16 AM
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We should have the right to choose which schools our children go to. Public schools across much of the USA are a joke. When you research and find data statistics that show graduation seniors in many districts have a 5th grade reading level (and there's even a % of those who cannot read at all) you wonder what the hell is going on.

However, if tax dollars are being funneled to private schools there needs to be standards and accountability.



posted on Oct, 23 2017 @ 09:30 AM
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Having spent 24 years in Florida I have no doubt about the depths of the corruption in the state..

That said the article and the OP do a disservice too the story by focusing on Devos and Trump, if its up to a billion in corruption now this is not a new thing, its been going on for years.

Lets focus on stamping out the corruption instead of scoring points for our "team".



posted on Oct, 23 2017 @ 10:52 AM
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a reply to: Irishhaf

My point is now the voucher program will be expanded across the nation, thanks to Trump and Devos. This will be more tax payer money wasted.

If the was better oversight on schools that receive voucher money, it would not be a bad program.

More from the Orlando Sentinel:
www.orlandosentinel.com...



posted on Oct, 23 2017 @ 11:32 AM
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I think this is slanted in a politically partisan way.

They claim that a lot of these private schools are "not very good" but yet are over generalizing and construing an Opinion as if it were some sort of categorical fact (which is isn't proven at all).

Then, if I wanted to say "well if the public schools weren't such trash, maybe they wouldn't be losing so much business" - they have the perfect little retort - "the public schools are trash because these private ones stole all their funding!".

It's total garbage. These people are just pro-govt and anti-private schooling.

The claim that the public schools suck because the private schools stole their $$$ is bogus because if those public schools were so awesome to begin with they never would have left any room for privates to come in and steal those funds.

The reason that the public system is a failure is because the government bureaucracy has an ability to ruin anything it touches. It's not anyone else's fault. In fact the only thing the government seems to do correctly is deliver the mail, and even that isn't always on time anymore.

Every dollar spent on tasking the government with schooling our kids is waste.
The government has the authority to legislate how people should school their kids yes, and local municipalities or states can create their own public systems (which worked fine until the Dept of Education was created), but as it stands now with the way things are, expect more private schools.

The reason I called this politically partisan is because this program is NOT A SCAM at all.
The journalist who wrote this is scamming people by using creative language to secretly support their side of the political equation (more govt less freedom).



posted on Oct, 23 2017 @ 11:35 AM
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originally posted by: jrod
a reply to: Irishhaf

My point is now the voucher program will be expanded across the nation, thanks to Trump and Devos. This will be more tax payer money wasted.

If the was better oversight on schools that receive voucher money, it would not be a bad program.

More from the Orlando Sentinel:
www.orlandosentinel.com...


The voucher program might be the only thing to save the complete failure we call the education system.

That will be tax payer money well spent, if they can improve the education of our children.

No one wants the govt shoving it's political opinions down their throats anyways (under the guise of school curriculum).



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