LAE Leaders File Lawsuit Challenging The Improper Use Of MFP Funds
State Superintendent John White responded to the LAE lawsuit with the now familiar ant-union rhetoric designed to give the impression that teachers and their unions are greedy and anti-parent's rights:
“The goal of this lawsuit is to stop taxpaying parents from choosing the school they think is best for their children,” White said.
“More money for unions and school boards, less for public schools not overseen by unions and school boards,” he said. “To the union, the desires of the taxpaying parents don’t matter.”
So in just two short sentences our so called state leader of public education manages to attack both public school teachers and locally elected school boards for wanting to curtail the efforts of out-of-state con men who line their pockets with our tax dollars while often providing an extremely sub-standard education to our public school students.
It has been well documented that the extremely profitable virtual charter schools where students can get credit for school coursework by sitting at a computer monitor at home have been some of the worst performing schools in the nation. Such schools don't even have to take attendance and still receive 90% of the MFP per student. Their profit comes from huge savings in not providing buildings, transportation, utilities, food, and upkeep. Yet such schools have almost zero accountability for insuring that students actually attend classes or learn the material taught in the various required courses. There is much evidence of this educational neglect in the high dropout/transfer rate of students attending virtual charters. State test scores for these schools are particlarly low. Such students often go back to their regular public schools at mid-year with almost no preparation to continue with their age group.
And yet the Superintendent blames the teachers and school boards for being greedy and opposed to "choice".
Let's set the record straight here: Advocates for charter schools and vouchers claim that parents should be able to take their tax money which is the MFP allocation per child and send their child to any school of their choosing, since it's their money, right?
No it is not their money! Most of the tax money for the MFP was not collected from the parents of children whom Jindal and White have designated as eligible to attend charter and voucher schools. All citizens, whether they have children attending public school or not, pay state taxes and local taxes which contribute to the MFP. The MFP allocation per student is the property of all taxpayers and voters. It is not appropriate for a parent who has paid only a small part of the MFP to take all of our contributions and squander them on any fly-by-night operation called a school. Decisions for the use of our education taxes should be made by our elected school board members. It is not proper or constitutional for unelected individuals to make those expenditures of our taxes!
Thank you to the Louisiana Association of Educators for this important legal challenge!